tv Public Affairs CSPAN December 31, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
singularly focused on this bill, has worked with me and others, until this day, and i certainly pledge to work with him next year as he continues on this very laudable mission. i thank also my friend, emanuel cleaver, also of missouri, rob bishop of utah, raul grijalva of arizona for working with me to preserve the district of columbia world war i memorial. earlier this year in search for a suitable memorial for world war i, representative ted poe introduced h.r. 938, which would have nationalized the d.c. memorial by redesignating it as the district of columbia and national world war i memorial. .
he made clear, however, that he wasn't focused on the d.c. memorial but his goal was a world war i memorial here. while i very much believe in commemorating all world war i veterans, i had to oppose altering the integrity of the d.c. memorial. the d.c. memorial was built with the blood and treasure of d.c. residents only, including funds from schoolchildren. more than 26,000 d.c. residents who served in world war i, the 491 who died, more than the number from three states, have their names enfwraved on the memorial. our memorial is deeply symbolic of historic and continuing concerns of this -- of district veterans, particularly our veterans who continue to serve without equal congressional representation, equail -- equal rights as citizens and equal
local government control. in the spirit of cooperation among members, -- members of both party the house-passed version of h.r. 6364 would have protected the d.c. war memorial and h.r. 6364 is amended -- as amended by the senate similarly will have no effect on the d.c. war memorial. in fact all the provisions regarding memorials have been removed from the bill. instead it establishes a commission to observe world war i across the country as we approach the centennial of the start of the war. i emphasize that the commission approach means that the reason this has been done reflects on nothing more than the fact that the commission approach -- approached two important commemorations almost always has been the -- the commission has been the approach.
the usual approach, almost always, to important commemorations, and world war i had enormous effects on those who fought, on the nation, and on the world. more than four million member and -- men and women from the united states served in uniform in world war i. among them two future presidents, harry s. truman and dwight w.ize -- and dwight d. eisenhower. two million men and women served overseas in world war i. the united states suffered 375,000 casualties during that war including 116,516 deaths. the national commission can plan and develop and execute programs to commemorate world war i throughout the united states, importantly, not only here but throughout the united states, people are anxious to learn more
about the history of this war, become involved in its commemoration, especially considering the effects of this war on the 0th century until today. we very much look forward to the commission's efforts to honor the participation and sacrifices of the united states and its citizens in the war effort. once again, i want to thank representative poe for the extraordinary effort and energy he's put into this bill and the way he's worked cooperatively with all of us on both sides of the aisle and madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker a message from the senate. the secretary: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform
the house that the nat has passed without amendment h.r. 3641, cited as the national park act. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. >> i have no fufert speakers and reserve the balance -- mr. chaffetz: i have no further speakers and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: i would like to thank representative poe for introducing this legislation. the intill bipartisan in its approach, it creates a means for properly commemorating the centennial of the great war and honoring those who fwallantly fought. i urge my colleagues to vote in concurrence with the senate amendment to h.r. 6364 and remind people that no taxpayer dollars will be used to carry out this act. i encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of this an yield
back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 6364? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. ms. norton: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present -- the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia. ms. norton: madam speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 88 -- 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.con.res. 145 as amended. the clerk: the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 145, calling for universal condemnation of the north korean missile launch of december 12, 2012. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend and include extraneous material in the record on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognize. ms. ros-lehtinen: i rise to support this strongly bipartisan measure which condemns the latest provocation by north korea. pyongyang has once again
violated past united nations resolutions and the assurances goive six-party partners. i would like to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate president-elect park for her victory in south koreaest's hard-fought presidential election. the republic of korea is one of our nation's closest friends in asia. ours is a steadfast alliance forged in the crucible of war. two decades ago, with all eyes on europe, the united states prematurely celebrated victory over communism and an end to the cold war but in 1989, the same year the berlin wall fell, tanks roll spood tiananmen square crushing in a bloody massacre the hopes of the chinese people. while communism was gone in europe it was revitalized in the world's largest nation.
pyongyang's missile launch awakens us to a fact that communism still casts a long shadow over asia. the nuclear proliveuation threaten not only our allies in the pacific but our own people as well. in asia the cold war never ended an the united states and south korean forces stand guard together on this last frontier. attempts to engage pyongyang over the past four years have been met with repeated prove cage. the kidnapping of two american journalists, repeated missile launches, one more nuclear test, the sinking of a south korean naval vessel with the loss of 46 lives and the shelling of a south korean island. how much more should we endure before we say enough is enough? sweet talking pyongyang only seems to inspire further belligerence. our extended hand is met only
with a clinched -- a clenched fist but a fist fwrass ing a knife. those hoping for openness and reform from this new generation of the kim dynasty saw their dreams go up in smoke on a north korea launch pad. the only answer appears to be a coordinated, firm, international strategy where current sanctions are reinforced and strengthens. -- strengthened. this requires the cooperation of beijing, a u.n. security council permanent member who deseptember ily seems to sell one thing to washington and yet another to pyongyang. press articles hail the fact that china in anticipation of the recent launch had begun inspecting cargo on north korean ships in search of contraband. the question this raises is why has chi gnat not been inspecting north korean ships since 2006 as called for in a u.n. resolution,
reinforced by another resolution in 2009. if u.n. member states would only enforce the sanctions currently on the books, north korea would be unable to ignore the swer national community and the civilized world. the time for coordinated international action is now. the time, in fact, is long overdue. with that, mr. speakering i reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the squom from florida reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. berman is recognized. mr. berman: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.con.res. 145 as amended and yield myself such time as i may consume. sproy the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: i would like to thank the sponsor of this legislation, ms. ros-lehtinen, for her leadership on this issue and her work in addressing the north korean threat. earlier this month, north korea carried out a missile launch using ballistic missile technology in correct defiance
of the international community this important resolution condemns their launch, calls on the north korea to live up to its commitments, admere to its international obligations and deal piecefully with its neighbors. this is a blatant violation of the u.n. security council resolutions. 1718 and 1874. we urge the security council to take strong and concerted action to demonstrate that pyongyang's actions are completely unacceptable. in familiar -- in particular we call on china and russia to work construct ily with other members of the council to show that the international community is united in condemning north korea's provocative behavior. north korea is only further isolating itself with its irresponsible action and the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons will never bring the real security and acceptance by the international community that the regime so desperately wants. instead of pouring hundreds of
millions of dollars into its so-called space program, nuclear programs, and massive military, north korea should instead work to feed its own citizens and improve its dismal economy. we must continue to remain vigilant in the face of north korea -- korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i would like to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from california, mr. royce, the chairman designate of the full committee in the next congress. who is not here. so i will reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves. mr. berman is recognized. mr. berman: i continue to reserve our time. ms. ros-lehtinen: and i'm
pleased to yield this time to mr. royce to speak on the north creey belligerent action and i thank him for his leadership on this and many of the issues that are facing our foreign affairs committee. so mr. royce, the time is yours. mr. royce: thank you for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as -- as he wishes. mr. royce: thank you. i rise in support of this resolution of which i am an original co-sponsor. i think members are very rightly concerned right now as the same technology that's used to put a satellite into space is also used in order to launch a ballistic missile. this experiment by north korea is definitely an advance for them, it's definitely a threat to the region, it's definitely a threat to the united states because what we're talking about here are three stage icbm's.
it is estimated that north korea has spent $3 billion since 1998 on that missile program. that is the amount of money that would have bought enough corn to feed that country over the last three years, but instead of feeding its people and i have been in north korea, i have seen the malnutrition. instead of feeding its people it continues to put billions of dollars into its military. that's the type of despicable regime we're dealing with, where $3 billion went into this project instead of feeding the population. . and this is why the house passed legislation, to prohibit the united states in giving food aid to north korea because when we do so money is fungible, and we have found in the past that that aid is both
used to feed the military and sold for hard currency. u.s. policy toward north korea hoping that north korea will give up its weapons for aid has been a failure. it's been a bipartisan failure, frankly, for decades, and it's gotten us now to this point. the hope that north korea can be induced to abandon its ambitions for nuclear weapons and missiles distracts us, north. it distracts us from pursuing the very policies that might actually change the behavior of the regime and support its people. going forward, we need to move away from an unimaginative policy here to one with energy and creativity and focus, so let's tackle north korea's illicit activities, its counterfeiting of u.s. currency. this regime will do anything for money. it is, as many north koreans will tell you, it is a gangster
regime. let's interfere with those shipments and disrupt the bank accounts that are used. let's ramp up radio broadcast in the country where there is information wall that is cracking. and let's help the refugees who are literally dying to escape the prison north of the 38th parallel. severely weakening the regime is the only way to make the korean peninsula secure. until it was dropped in favor of a failed diplomacy program several years ago, the treasury department went after north korea. if we remember 2006, we went after north korea's ill-gotten games. we put the brakes on the counterfeiting. we cut the flow of currency to the regime. the head of state could not pay his generals. it created a crisis inside north korea. well, that policy was
mistakenly dropped. i'd like to see it reapplied. let's go back to where we are proactively defending u.s. interests instead of just condemning another north korean provocation every few months. let's do something that has proved to work in terms of putting the pressure on north korea. i yield back the balance of my time. i thank the chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. berman: i have no further requests for time and prepared to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further requests for time and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 145, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. mr. berman: mr. speaker. i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the concurrent resolution is agreed to. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 134, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 134, resolution condemning the government of iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its baha'i minority and its continued violation of the international covenants on human rights.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker, and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to insert extraneous materials into the record on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for as much time as she wishes to consume. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of house resolution 134, introduced by my good friend and colleague from illinois, mr. dold. house resolution 134 condemns the iranian regime's persecution of iran's baha'i minority. baha'i are the largest non-muslim population in iran, numbering over 300,000 members in iran alone. mr. speaker, this resolution marks the 12th congressional action urging the iranian
regime to end its persecution of the baha'i minority. and still baha'is do not have the freedom to practice their religion. in fact, restrictions on baha'is extend far beyond their religious practices to further restrict their civil rights and their human rights. many members of the baha'i faith living in iran are even subject to harassment, to persecution by the regime and others with extensive reports of confiscation of property, restrictions on travel and raids on baha'i homes and businesses. the iranian government continues to arrest and detain baha'is based on their religious beliefs with at least 60 cases logged last year alone. the members of the national leadership of baha'is in iran arrested in 2008 and unfairly tried with minimal access to
their defense attorneys are now serving a 20-year sentence for crimes, crimes including insulting religious sanctity and propaganda against the regime. the government maintains possession of many baha'i properties that were seized following the 1979 revolution, including holy places, cemeteries and historical sites. many of those properties have now been destroyed. baha'is are barred from leadership positions in the government and are only permits to enroll in schools if they do not identify themselves to be baha'i and are required to identify as members of another religion in order to register for their entrance examinations. many baha'is are denied admission to the universities, and even those who are admitted may face expulsion due to their faith. the fwa high institute for higher education -- the baha'i
institute for higher education established after they were barred from attending other universities were declared illegal this year and six educators from that institute are currently imprisoned in iran. these are just a fraction of the injustices, mr. speaker, that the baha'is face at the hands of the iranian regime. the regime has sought to make life for the baha'i people simply unlivable. they seek to take things from everyday life. this resolution draws attention to their plight. it calls on the iranian regime toened its campaign of -- to end its campaign and it condemns them for the persecution of the baha'is and calls on the regime to immediately release the baha'is that it wrongfully holds in captivity, including the seven baha'i leaders and the six baha'i educators and it calls
for the president and the secretary to make publicly -- to publicly express the same sentiments. finally, the resolution urges the president and the secretary of state to use measures already enacted into law under the comprehensive iran sanctions accountability and divestment act of 2010 to sanction iranian officials responsible for human rights violations against baha'is and others. mr. speaker, i was a co-author of that legislation and those measures are not here for show. they are there to punish those responsible for those egregious crime and to deter future human rights violations. it is therefore time for the administration to walk the walk and hold the iranian regime officials from the so-called supreme leader and ahmadinejad on down responsible for the violations of human rights of the baha'is and other iranians. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and i reserve
the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves her time. the gentleman from florida, mr. engel, is recognized. mr. -- new york, mr. engel, is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in strong support of h.res. 134, as amended, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. before i get in the substance of the bill, i just want to say a couple of things, as we're ending the 112th congress and in the 113th congress i am about to take over as ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee. the gentleman who spoke before me, the gentleman from california, mr. berman, i just want him to know, which he already does, but i want to say for the record how much we're going to miss him. first as chair and then as ranking member, there isn't a person on either side of the aisle who doesn't respect him. there isn't a person who doesn't understand how important he's been to the
congress the many years he served in congress and particularly on the foreign affairs committee. his shoes are going to be very hard to fill. i am going to try the very best i can. i want him to know i am going to miss him, going to miss him as a friend, going to miss him as a colleague. i think the congress as a whole will miss him because he's one of the best. and i wish him only the very, very best as he moves on to future endeavors. let me also say the gentlewoman from florida, current chair of the committee and former ranking member of the committee, she knows the affection i have for her, both personally as a friend but also as a colleague, as chair of the committee for the past two years and as ranking member for the previous four, she and i have worked together not only in these past six years but for all the years we've been in congress. i think we have' been in congress almost the exact same
time. it's been a pleasure and honor to work with her. i continue to look forward to collaborating with her on all these issues of importance to us. we agree on many, many, many things in the 113th congress. madam chairman, i want to tell you how much we appreciate you on both sides of the aisle. so let me talk about the bill because i think it's important. i agree with everything that the chairwoman said. while the international community is rightfully concerned about iran's ties to international terrorism and its nuclear weapons program, we cannot forget those who struggle for religious freedom and democracy in iran. the baha'i community has long been the target of severe religious persecution by the iranian regime. much of the formal leadership has been arrested and many executed. the baha'i are not permitted to practice their religion and culture.
their marriages are not recognized. their dead cannot be buried, according to baha'i law, and their sem tears are desecrated -- cemeteries are desecrated. they are denied government jobs and business licenses. they are not permitted to enroll in universities and baha'i schoolchildren are frequently harassed by classmates, teachers and administrators. no one deserves the hand of this treatment at the hands of their government. the baha'i faith, such as the equality of men and women and responsibility to navigate the truth are impossible for the leaders of iran to comprehend. but these are universal values, human values and they must be protected. mr. speaker, the united states and the international community must not ignore the systematic and violent attacks against the iranian baha'i community and tehran must be held accountable. by passing this resolution we shine a light on the persecution of the baha'i and hopefully move us one step closer to the day that true freedom reaches iran.
i encourage all of my colleagues to support h.res. 134, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my good friend from new york for those kind words. mr. engel is a true mench. that's a good thing. 3450erk, -- mr. speaker, i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, part of the tom lantos congressional human rights committee, and the author of this measure, whom we will miss greatly. thank you, mr. dold. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. i certainly want to thank the chairwoman for her leadership and for her friendship and her work on human rights abuses. certainly want to thank the ranking member and my friend from new york as well. mr. speaker, i've talked at length in this chamber about the human rights abuses taking place inside the country of iran. in response to this, we have
promoted democracy and human rights through a variety of legislative tools. and we have championed measures like the lautenberg amendment, to offer a lifeline to those individuals who seek nothing more than the freedom they cannot find in their home country. today, i'm proud to stand here with my colleagues and encourage others to support house resolution 134, officially condemning the government of iran for its stance sponsor persecution of its baha'i religious minority and for the continued violation of human rights. . it's time for these violations to be fully exposed and to receive increased international attention. the bhy population is -- the bahai population is their largest minority. since the islamic revolution of iran of 1979, members of the baha'i faith in iran have faced
intense oppression, solely because of their religious beliefs. baha'is are unrecognize under the i ranian constitution and over 200 baha'is have been killed since the iranian revolution. they are barred from universities, banned from government employment and excluded from the social pension system unless they deny their religious affiliation. their marriages are not recognized, their property is confiscated, their holy places and cemeteries have been desecrated. the situation is worse -- has worsen consider -- worsened considerably in the last couple of years as the numb of baha'is have doubled and there have been raids on the baha'i institution of higher education, an institution they developed to educate baha'i youth who are excluded from the state's
university system. house resolution 134 condemns the state sponsored persecution performed by the iranian government and calls on it to release the seven imprisoned baha'i leaders, six impressed -- imprisoned teachers and others persecuted for their baha'i belief. it calls on the president and secretary of state to utilize available measures to sanction members of the government of iran and other individuals responsible for egregious human rights violations, including against the baha'i community. in recognition of the importance of this issue, this resolution enjoys over 146 bipartisan co-sponsors. on bhf of all those concerned about human rights abuses and on behalf of the baha'i community in the 10th district of illinois, which is home to the
baha'i temple of north america. the beautiful temple is one of only seven, mr. speaker, throughout the world. i'd like to encourage my colleagues, my friends, to vote in support of h.res. 134's passage. i thank you and thank again the chairwoman for her leadership. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves and the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. berman: -- -- mr. engel: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution as amended? those in favor say aye. posenes. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of
order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 further proceedings on this measure are postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 834678 the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 834, resolution urging the government of europe and the european union to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization and impotion sanctions and urging the president to provide information about hezbollah to the european allies of the united states and support the government of bulgaria in investigating the july 18, 2012, terrorist attack on burgas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes. the gentleman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to rhett re-their remarks and to insert extraneous
materials into the record on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for such time as she wishes -- wishes to consume. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of house resolution 834 introduced by my good friend and colleague from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the resolution before the house condemns the ongoing violence perpetrated by hezbollah and urges the european union to classify hezbollah as a designated terrorist organization. now in march of 2005, the house voted on a similar resolution urging the european union to add hezbollah as a designated foreign terrorist organization, yet here we are again, mr. speaker, nearly eight years later, calling for the e.u. to take this long overdue action as the purveyor of one of the most expansive extremist networksed
in the world, hezbollah has engaged nearly three decades of attacks against americans, europeans, israeli civilians, in addition to plots and attacks on nearly every continent. among the most egregious examples of hezbollah attacks against innocent sillians abroad were its bombings of the israeli embassy in buenos aires in march, 1992, and the jewish cultural cent for the in 1994. his boll will la has never missed -- hezbollah has never missed an opportunity to target innocent civilians, especially innocent israelis, as the 2006 conflict in southern lebanon illustrated while using innocent lebanese as human shields. hezbollah has even turned its weapons on syrians and against other lebanese as the special tribunal for lebanon has uncovered. and most recently, mr. speaker,
hezbollah attacked innocent israeli and bulgarian civilians in burgas, bulgaria. given hezbollah's long and grisly record, it is no surprise that many of our allies from canada, great britain, the netherlands, australia, new zealand have designated hezbollah as a terrorist organization because that is what it is. in this respect, it defies comp rehence -- comprehension that our allies in the european union continue to purposely omit hezbollah from their list of designated terrorist organizations. the logic of the european union's decision making on this matter is at best baffling, particularly against the backdrop of a mutual effort to address the threats of hezbollah patrons iran and syria. by simply designating hezbollah as a terrorist organization and stating the obvious, the
europeans could deprive hezbollah to access to millions of dollars in european banks and other financial institutions while making an enormous contribution to regional stability, saving hundreds of lives that would otherwise be hezbollah's future victims. again, i strongly support this kelly resolution and i urge all of my colleagues to do the same. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves. the gentleman from new york, mr. engel is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in strong support of h.res. 834 and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he wishes to consume. mr. engel: thank you. this urges the members of -- the nations of europe and the european union to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization and impose sanctions on it. we know from our experiences with iran that sanctions are
most effective when they were multilateral, the more multilateral the better. we are particularly strong when we and our frinds and allies in the european union stand shoulder to shoulder. that's why europe's refusal to classify hezbollah as a terrorist group has been so disappointing. hezbollah's crimes are legion, spread over many continents and far too numerous to list here. they begin in the early 1980's with deadly bombings of a u.s. embassy and the u.s. marine and french army barracks in bay rut and have continued up to the present dayism still remember ronald reagan, president reagan, talking about it after so many of our marines were murdered in lebanon. let me mention just a few of the other low lights. countless kidnappings of americans and europeans in the 1980's and 1990's. the khobar towers attack that
killed 19 americans in the 1996. the 1992 bombing of the israeli embassy and the 1994 bombing of the army ewish community cent for the buenos aires. the murder of americans in iraq and training of over iraqi militants and countless assassinations in lebanon including most likely that of hariri in 2005. in 2006, hezbollah committed the unprovoked murder of three israeli citizens caused a war in which hezbollah launched rockets into lebanon and used lebanese citizens as human shieldsful today they have forces in syria fighting on behalf of assad and helping to train assad's thugs. in addition, this year hezbollah twice has been directly
implicated in terrorism on european union territory new york bull gare where, where a suicide bomber killed five israeli tourists and a bulgarian and incy plus where a terrorist attack was thwarted. the failure of most european nations to designate hezbollah has been on the flimsiest of regions, namely that hezbollah provides social services to the shia community and participates in politics. they take a novel approach to eelect trorl politics, using the militia to coerce people into voting for them. but the failure of designating hezbollah as a terrorist group is not merely a problem because it gives a terrorist organization authorization, but it makes it more difficult to
prosecute crimes by hezbollah in europe. it allows them to use europe to prop began dies and train new members. the european union obviously will make its own decisions on this matter but it's hard to escape the conclusion that the e.u.'s failure to designate hezbollah undermines both europe's security and ours as well. the state department top terrorism official said he's cautiously optimistic at last about the prospects for e.u. designation of the group, end quote. i hope his optimism is justified but until it is borne out with all-designation, it is important to go on record in urging the european union to make that designation which would be so
beneficial to the fight against terrorism worldwide and to our national security. i urge my colleagues to support this referendum and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nosh reserves his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i would like to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly, an esteemed member of our house foreign affairs committee and the author of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for such time as he wishes to consume. the speaker pro tempore: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentlelady for your guidance and leadership over the last couple of years, it's been a joy to serve with you. i rise in support of house ruzzluge 834 and urge the e.u. members to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization. hezbollah is the a-team of terrorists -- is known as the a-team of terrorists by terrorism experts.
hezbollah receives weapons, training, money, and support from iran and syria. hezbollah has left its bloody fingerprints around the world in the last 30 years. his lolba has -- hezbollah has been implicated in aing ta -- attacks against europeans, israelis and americans. the bombing in beirut that killed 6 people, the 1983 bombing of u.s. and french barracks killing 241 american servicemen and 58 french soldiers. the 1988 bombing in buenos aires that killed 24 people. the 1994 bombing in the jewish community cent for the 1994, killing 85 people. the suicide bombing on july 18, 2012, that killed five israeli tourists in a bulgarian -- and a bulgarian driver in the town of
bul -- in the town of burgas, bulgaria. they have created violence and instability in lebanon and it has launched thousands of rockets and missiles at israel from within lebanon. hezbollah is a force against the syrian people. s if long past time for the e.u. and other and its members to join the u.s. and others in condemning hezbollah. i would like the e.u. as resip yevents of the noble peace prize to wake up. the u.s. designated hezbollah as a terrorist organization in the 1990's. canada and the netherlands and australia also list them as a terrorist organization. failure to recognize and designating hezbollah acow lous it to continue to evade law enforcement and it endangers the people of europe.
hezbollah cannot claim to be a legitimate political party or provider of social services when it refuses to abandon its terrorist agenda. the united states and e.u. must be united in our fight against hezbollah. h.res. 834 urges the e.u. member states to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization and preventing them from using europe for funding or training, and asking the e.u. to impose sanctions on the his -- on hezbollah. and it urges our president to support the investigation of the 2012 terrorist attack and it urblings the president to provide information to the european allies regarding hezbollah's terrorist a activities, and support of
assad's violence in syria. this congress has and will do all it can to urge the e.u. to do the right thing and list hezbollah as a terrorist organization. in september, my good friend, gus bilirakis of florida, mr. deutch, and others led a bipartisan group of 268 house members to send a letter to the president in the 27 -- and the 27 members of the european commission urging the commission to add hezbollah to the terrorist list. mr. doimp and i had a talk about how well our staffs have worked together to forge this letter, to put it together and we do think a lot -- we do things in bipartisan base. i think it gets lost in the wash of other things going on. i want to thank all those mobe of the staff and also one of my staff meabs, mr. isaac vaughan, for the tireless work he put in. .
the e.u. to declare hezbollah as a terrorist organization. h.res. 834 has bipartisan co-sponsors and it's time to recognize hezbollah for what it is. if it waddles like a duck and quaks like a duck it is a duck. this is a terrorist organization. it needs to be recognized one and designated as one worldwide. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back his time. the gentlewoman from florida reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for three minutes. mr. kucinich: i want to begin by thanking the chair and the ranking member for their commitment to security to israel and to the region and i want to thank mr. kelly for his commitment.
in my office, which i recently shut down because i'm not going to be in the next congress, i had a pedestal on which rested a bomb fragment that i brought back from the village of kana in south lebanon. kana is the place where christ is said to have performed his first miracle. and it is also the place where a bomb dropped on an apartment building and killed about 50 women and children. about -- i brought a fragment of that bomb back, put it on a pedestal in my office. i put the dog tags of three israeli soldiers who were captured -- kidnapped. i got the dog tag from their parents. i had it in my office from 2006, when i first went to lebanon, to look at the effects
of the war. and i have them together because they represent the human tragedy. we're all concerned about i veily security, and i rose on the floor of this house when the war started to talk about putting immediately into effect a plan that would stop the war, and i've been to south lebanon and israel on several occasions. i want to add a word of caution here, because what i'm concerned about, notwithstanding the best intentions of my friends who are taking a strong stand here, is that the impact of this resolution on the united nations' force on lebanon, unifil, there are troops there. it is to end the hostilities between hezbollah and israel. they have been working with hezbollah to stabilize south lebanon, and there are reports on the ground, from the ground
that they have helped to achieve a good measure of stability in that regard. reports that hezbollah has worked to help curb the work of terror cells of extremist men. unifil has in effect worked with hezbollah. peacekeepers have worked with hezbollah. they developed a relationship for future dialogue. now, i'm concerned that this resolution could make it even more difficult to enforce u.n. resolution 1701 and that if it's passed, one of the things that this congress has to consider, is that the lebanese army itself has to be strengthened. we -- can i have another half minute. mr. engel: i yield the gentleman another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: we have to look at the implications of this. if you have european countries who are essentially part of the
unifil presence in south lebanon in furtherance of a u.n. resolution to end the hostilities between hezbollah and israel, to create safety for both the people of israel and the people of lebanon. we've got to be very careful here that we don't create a situation that is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. and if this resolution passes, and unfortunately i am not going to be able to support it, if it passes we have to do something to strengthen the lebanese army because if the lebanese army is not strong enough then you have a situation where the very thing we are opposing here could come to pass and with great force. so i would just urge your consideration of that and i thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to put this forward. and i thank, again, my colleagues for their constant support of israel.
thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i am going to continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 834, which urges the european union to take swift steps to designate hezbollah a terrorist organization. despite its history of violence, civilian attacks, our european partners have yet to formally recognize hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization. mr. speaker, the failure of the e.u. to gain consensus on this matter serves as a grave injustice to those who have been the victims of terror attacks masterminded and carried out by hezbollah throughout the world.
from the suicide truck bombings of the u.s. embassy in beirut in april of 1983 that killed 63 , the u.s. marine barrack bombing in october, 1983, that killed 241 american military personnel, a separate attack on the french military compound that killed 58. as well as the hijacking of t.w.a. 47 in 1985, hezbollah's role in 1994 bombing of the israeli-argentine mutual aids association in buenos aries that killed 85, right up to the terrorist attack this summer at a bulgarian airport that killed six, hezbollah has shown its propensity to attack civilians and to attack the many in the world. it's also shown its propensity to attack prime minister
hariri. hezbollah and the state sponsor iran has continued to incite -- when chief hassan, threatening to rain down rockets on israel, quote, from the lebanese border to jordan to the red sea, prompting harsh rebukes from several prominent members of lebanon's parliament. by failing to label hezbollah a terrorist organization, hezbollah is free to continue its operations, including recruiting and fundraising in europe. mr. speaker, we deeply value our relationship with our european allies, including our joint commitment to combating terror around the globe. we appreciate their partnership in enacting crushing sanctions designed to thwart iran's
nuclear ambitions, but we do not understand the failure of our friends to join together in stopping this organization's reign of terror. that's why we're here this morning speaking about house resolution 834. mr. speaker, in conclusion, i'd like to thank my friend, congressman kelly, as well as chairman ros-lehtinen, ranking member berman, for their leadership on this issue, my friend, mr. engel, the incoming ranking member, i look forward to working with you to continue to work on these vitally important issues. i urge my colleagues, mr. speaker, to support this resolution. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlewoman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further speakers so i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i also have no further requests for time and i yield back the
balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida yields back the balance of the time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 834. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 193 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 193, resolution calling on the new government of egypt to honor the rule of law and immediately return noor and ramsay bauer to the united states -- bower to the united states. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will
each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to insert extraneous material into the record on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for as much time as she wishes to consume. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. 3 1/2 years ago, colin bougher's two sons, noor and ramsay, was -- were abducted from the united states by their mother in violation of the custody ruling given by the courts of the commonwealth of massachusetts. the boys' mother used forged passports to remove the boys from the united states and take them to her native land of egypt despite the fact that a court ruling stipulated that she was not to remove them from massachusetts. last i checked, egypt was not in red sox country. one of the objectives of the
hague convention, mr. speaker, on the civil aspects of international child abductions of which egypt and the united states are members is to ensure that custody rights and access under the law of one contracting state are respected in the others. that means helping to bring noor and ramsay home to their father. the resolution is not calling for anything extraordinary. we are simply appealing to the egyptian government to uphold its responsibilities and return these two boys to their rightful home. i would like to thank my colleague from massachusetts, mr. frank, for working so diligently to return these boys to their dad. this bipartisan measure deserves our unanimous support, and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida reserves her time. the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.res. 193 and yield myself
such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. mr. engel: this calls on the new government of egypt to return two kidnapped children to their father in the united states. in august of 2009, colin bower of wellesley, massachusetts, received a terrifying phone call that his two children, noor and ramsay, aged 9 and 7 at the time, this be abducted to egypt by his ex-wife, mirvat el nady. mr. bower was granted sole custody of his children after the divorce. the massachusetts courts found her to have a drug addiction which put the safety of the boys at risk. . she falsified passports to smuggle the children out of the country on an egypt flight and is now wanted by federal officials on kidnapping. the facts of this case are
heartbreaking and i thank my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. frank, for working so hard on this resolution and trying to reunite mr. bower with his children. the resolution before us asks three simple things. first, that egypt bring about the safe return of noor and ramsay bower to their father, colin, in the united states. secondly, that egypt immediately stop using its own security forces to aid and abet the continued unlawful detention of these two united states citizens. and thirdly, and finally, it urges egypt and all other nations to join in fully participating in the hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction and to establish procedures to promptly and equitably address the tragedy of child abductions. during this holiday season when we are reminded children are our most important and cherished resource, and it is a tragedy for everyone involved when they are taken away and denied access to one of their parents, egypt's
government must do better. what the mubarak and morsi governments have done is actively work and make sure mr. bower is not part of his children's lives. this is unjust, illegal, tragic, and unacceptable. and sadly, mr. speaker, this is but one of 31 separate cases involving american children wrongfully removed from the united states to egypt. mr. speaker, i ask that all my colleagues join me in supporting this important resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. frage. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts -- frank. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts virginia tech for three minutes. mr. frank: mr. speaker, my thanks go to the chair of the committee, the gentlewoman from florida, the ranking member from california, mr. berman, and the new ranking member, mr. engel,
for giving us a chance to try to achieve not just justice but love, the love of a father, for children for whom he grieves daily because they were illegally and abusively kidnapped. as the the gentlewoman from florida pointed out, this kidnapping was in violation of a decision by the family court in massachusetts giving full custody to the father. members will not be surprised to learn that there have been very few complaints that i ever heard of of there being a bias in favor of fathers in those courts. some say there is a bias in favor of mothers. there is certainly a presumption as i understand it in favor of mothers. so for a court to say unequivocally that the father gets seoul -- sole control is a strong indication of the unfitness of the mother. so the case is very clear, but i
want my remarks, mr. speaker, to address the government of egypt. this new government in egypt, there are points of friction between egypt and the united states. we have a great interest in a good relationship. the foundation of peace in the middle east began in the 1979 pie the campaign in the courts, america has consistently provided egypt with more foreign assistance than all but a handful of nations. in this current period when there are issues that could arise and divide us, i urge the egyptian government not to put or keep in place a serious problem. not an irritant. it's more than an irritant when a loving father who has been given custody of his children because of the court's decision that the mother is unfit by virtue of her drug adiction, when he is denied the ability to
have his paternal instincts honored, to be able to honor and protect his children, and i urge the government of egypt do not minimize the extent to which this will be -- i will not be here in a week, mr. speaker. i may not be here this week. but i know that my successor in congress, mr. kennedy, and my colleagues, the chair of the committee, the ranking member, will not forget this. the government of egypt will be seeking from this house supportive measures, and there are a lot of reasons why we want to work together. i plead with them do not allow what to us is a very serious issue. perhaps to some in egypt it appears minor, but to have a father's children taken away from him and kidnapped with the implicit cooperation of the prior egyptian government, and the current egyptian government
does not correct this situation, it will be an object steckel to the kind of cooperation that is in our mutual interest. i hope we get a very large, indeed unanimous vote for this resolution and the egyptian government understands that it is not just justice but its best interest that calls for compliance. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlewoman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself one minute to again he reiterate the fact that i support this bill very strongly and also to, since mr. frank spoke before me, i want to, as i mentioned before, with some of the other people, tell him how much i appreciate being his colleague through the years and how much not only i will miss him and the congress will miss him, but the country will miss him.
it's been wonderful to call him a colleague, better to call him a friend. i wish him the best in all future endeavors. thank you very much. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i also will miss mr. frank and for his friendship and his great insight on many of the issues, and i thank him so much for caring deeply about constituents in his district. we will continue to fight on their behalf. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules agree to house resolution 193, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye.
we don't know whether they are its senate offers back or fourth. leaders of both parties have said little this morning. senate majority agree -- leader harry reid came to the floor and did not have much of an update. if there is is going to be a deal today, it will be between mr. mcconnell and mr. biden. there is little in the way of ongoing conversation between mr. reed and mr. mcca mcconnell. >> what about the mechanics of any deal if there is an agreement at least in the senate -- how quickly can come to the floor and how likely is it we can see action on the house floor later today or tonight or tomorrow? >> it becomes tricky. we know what the allies of any
deal would be. they have been bandied around for about two years. translating the outline of the deal in legislative language is difficult and the staff would have to work in overdrive to get that done and they have to make sure all 100 senators know what they are voting on and to make sure there are enough to vote affirmatively before they bring it to the floor. you don't know what the house conservatives will think of any deal that involves an increase in taxes and we don't know what house democrats especially on the liberal side of the spectrum would think about any deal that extends the current estate tax which could be one possible area of compromise. in essence, it is difficult right now to seat senate and house action today. if we are talking about today leading into tomorrow and into
the early hours of 2013, that is one possibility. another one could be that they reach a deal and come out holding hands and tell the world they made a deal and they wait for a day or so and come back before the new congress begins on january 3. >> i was going to ask you where the threshold is in terms of income levels. the president said $250,000 or above is considered wealthy. then that was moved to $400,000 and senator harkin said there is some discussion to where that line will be drawn. are you hearing specifics in terms of the tax issue? >> senator harkin and others like senator durbin said the latest democratic position which would have been given to republicans on saturday night was an offer of keeping tax rates the same for everybody
earning less than $450,000 per year. the two sides are not that far apart. the democrats are now relinquishing the demand that the state tax -- that the estate tax goes up. it is close to being signed up -- signed off on. this is not the kind of all singing, all dancing $1 trillion deal that was on the table in recent weeks. this is a smaller, kicking the can down their road, to prevent the most pernicious aspects of the fiscal cliff from taking effect. >> let's go back to the schedule because the deadline is tonight at midnight but also the end of this congress ostensibly is january 2. with all of these deadlines
hitting the end of the clock, what can we expect? >> if there is an agreement, i would think all sides like to get it done by the end of this current congress. that would be before the end of january to. otherwise, there is upwards of 100 new members of congress coming in. they would have to educate the new members -- >> that was from earlier this afternoon. this is a live view of the u.s. capitol. we heard from the house republican whip that the house should be prepared for votes later this afternoon and negotiations continue and the principals include vice president joe biden and the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell and negotiations are with the speaker of the house. he will take up whatever the senate passes if it passes.
we will take you live to the white house for the president momentarily is scheduled to speak about the fiscal cliff. he is joined by middle-class americans and is in the eisenhower executive office, a short distance from the white house. we are waiting for the president to be -- to come to the podium. you can share your thoughts with us on our facebook page as to whether washington should forge a compromise or go over the fiscal cliff. the president is coming momentarily and this is a live view from the white house. our coverage continues this december 31, 11 hours before the midnight deadline for congress to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff. >> president of the united states -- [applause] >> thank you.
>> happy new year to you. >> low, everybody. thank you. everybody have a seat. good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the white house. i realize that the last thing you want to hear on new year's eve is another speech from me. but i do need to talk about the progress being made in congress today. for the last few days, leaders of both parties are working toward an agreement that will prevent a middle-class tax hike from hitting 98% of all americans starting tomorrow.
preventing that tax hike has been my top priority. the last thing that folks like the folks appear on this stage can afford right now is to pay an extra $2,000 in taxes next year. middle-class families cannot afford it, businesses cannot afford it, our economy cannot afford it. today, it appears an agreement to prevent this new year's tax hike is within sight. but it is not done. there are still issues left to resolve but we are hopeful that congress can get it done. it is not done. part of the reason i wanted to speak to all of you today is to make sure that we emphasize to congress and members of both parties understand across america that this is a pressing concern on people's minds.
now, the potential agreement that is being talked about would not only make sure the taxes don't go up on middle-class families, it also would extend tax credits for families with children, it would extend our tuition tax credit that has helped millions of families pay for college, it would extend tax credits for clean energy companies that are creating jobs, it would extend unemployment insurance to 2 million americans who are actively looking for jobs out there. i have to say that ever since i took office, throughout the campaign, and over the last couple of months, my preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain or whatever you want to call it, that solves the deficit problems in a balanced and responsible
way that does not just deal with taxes but also spending so that we can put all this behind us and focus on growing our economy. with this congress, that was obviously too much to hope for at this time. [laughter] maybe we can do it in stages. we will solve this problem instead in several steps. in 2011, we started reducing the deficit through $1 trillion in spending cuts which have taken place. the agreement being worked on right now would further reduce the deficit by asking the wealthiest 2% of americans to pay higher taxes for the first time in two decades so that would add additional hundreds of billions of dollars to deficit reduction. that is progress but we will need to do more. keep in mind that just last month, republicans in congress of they would not agree to raise
tax rates on the wealthiest americans and the agreement being discussed would raise those rates permanently. [applause] keep in mind, we will still have more work to do. we still have deficits that have to be dealt with, we will still have to think about how we put our economy long term project for growth, how we continue to make investments in education and infrastructure that help our economy grow. keep in mind that the threat of tax heights going up is only one part of this so-called fiscal cliff. what we also have facing us starting tomorrow or automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to go into effect. keep in mind that some of these spending cuts that congress has said will automatically go into
effect have an impact on our defense department but that also have an impact on things like head start. there are some programs that are scheduled to be cut. we are using an ax instead of a scalpel. it may not always be the smartest cuts. that is a piece of business that still has to be taken care of. i want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts, those also have to be balanced. my principle has always been to do things in a balanced, responsible way and that means revenues as to be part of the equation in turning off the sequestered. as well as spending cuts. my principle has alwaysthe samee deficit agreement. we will have to do more to reduce our debt and deficit. i am willing to do more but it will have to be balanced.
we will have to do it in a responsible way. i am willing to reduce our government's medicare bills by finding new ways to reduce the costs of health care in this country. that is something which all agree on. we want to make sure that medicare is there for future generations but the current trajectory of health care costs is going up so high that we have to find ways to make sure that it is sustainable. that kind of reform has to go hand in hand with doing some more work to reform our tax code so that wealthy individuals, the biggest corporations, cannot take advantage of loopholes and deductions that are not available to most of the folks standing up here for most americans. there is still more work to be done in the tax code to make it fair even as we are also looking at how we can strengthen something like medicare. if republicans think i will
finish the job of the deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, you hear that sometimes, after today that we will try to shove a always spending cuts -- [applause] shoved spending cuts that will hurt seniors or heard students or hurt middle-class families without asking also equivalence sacrifice from millionaires or companies with a lot of lobbyists. if they think that will be the formula for how we solve this thing, the dead another think coming. that is not how it will work. we've got to do this i ballast, responsible way and if we're going to be serious, then it will have to be a matter of shared sacrifice. as long as i'm president.
and i will be present for the next four years. [applause] any way -- for now, our most immediate priority is to stop taxes going up for middle-class families starting tomorrow. i think that is a modest goal that we can accomplish. democrat and republicans in congress have to get this done but they're not there yet. they are close but they are not there yet. one thing we can count on with respect to this congress is that if there is even one second left before you have to do what you are supposed to do, they will use that last second. @ -- as of this point, it looks like i will spend new year's here in d.c. you all will be hanging out in
d.c., too. i can come to your house? [laughter] i don't want to spoil the party. the people who are with me here today, people watching at home, they need our leaders in congress to all stay focused on them, not on politics, not on special interests -- they need to be focused on families, students, grandmas, folks who are out there working really, really hard and are just looking for a fair shot and some reward for that hard work. they expect our leaders to succeed on their behalf and satellite. keep the pressure on over the next and let's see if we can get this thing done and i thank you all and if i don't show up at your house, i want to wish
everybody a happy new year. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> brief comments from the president from the eisenhower executive office building. the first family remains in hawaii for the christmas holiday vacation and the president returned mid-week last week and spending much of the weekend in negotiations and try to push his message and he made an appearance yesterday on nbc's "meet the press." the house remains in recess with a statement from the house republican whip kevin mccarthy who asked members to stay flexible saying that today's schedule remains fluid and members are advised to remain close to the capital. votes are possible pending action from the senate, please stay as flexible as possible.
our phone lines are open so tell us what you think about all this as we approach, within 10 hours of the fiscal cliff deadline, no timetable on when votes would happen in the senate and later in the house. congress is taking up to the last second. it could be well into the evening if anything happens. you can also join the conversation on our facebook page. what is your message to washington -- forge a compromise or go over the cliff?
let's get to your phone calls. we have a caller from norfolk, virginia. caller: good afternoon. i just want to say that when everything goes through, i am hoping that people like me because i am a single person and i live by myself, i am hoping that taxes will be low enough for a person like me so i will not have to owe a lot of money back. that is my main concern. host: as you watch the process unfold, what are your thoughts? caller: i think the president is doing a good job and i pray he can find some type of solution so that a person like me can actually make it in this economy. host: next is louisville,
kentucky, good afternoon. caller: good afternoon, i am more of a libertarian/republican. it is ridiculous that the president is playing class warfare against the rich people and republicans have no intellectual stance against this. you hear them talking about sequester cuts, they are not even proposing cuts. we're in this endless cycle of american politics. it is going to be the end of the road sen. i am hoping rand paul runs in 2016. that may give us some possible solutions. host: it is monday, december 31, the last day of 2012. this is from twitter --
pasadena, texas, good afternoon. are you with us? we will go next to massachusetts, democrats line, good afternoon. caller: good afternoon. i am totally and completely in favor of the president's original plan. i think the do nothing congress is just what i say -- a do nothing congress. thank you. host: next up is rachel. you are on the air. caller:hi, i am one of the unemployed people in savannah and i was in new jersey and i am so worried of not being able to have enough money to live.
it is a very pressing issue to me. host: as you look up this process and what congress and the deadline, what do you think? caller: it is really nerve wracking to may. -- to me. when i heard there was 2 million people out of work, and their lives depend upon a. these people have our money. guest: -- host: if we go over the cliff, what impact will this have on you getting unemployment benefits? caller: that is the question. i called today to put in for my two weeks. it would not even go through. i will not even get a paycheck. i am not getting a check at all. host: thank you for the call.
next, gregg in brooklyn. caller: i just really wanted to comment on the fact that i think it is ridiculous they are talking how this is class warfare against the rich when they are not even accounting for the fact that the amount of income, the wealth the rich has in this country is greater than it has ever been in the past. this idea that creating jobs -- i have been out of work, i have been unemployed like the previous caller. i cannot find work. i cannot find work. something that i'm actually qualified to do. what am i supposed to do? get a job working cocktails? if i can get a job that i am supposed to be working in, what
reason is there for the republicans to continue to defend the limited taxes for the rich is untenable and as far as i am concerned unamerican. host: thank you. 202-585-3882 is our line for republicans. 202-585-3880 is our ally for democrats. if you are an independent, you can call 202-585-3883. should congress forge a compromise with the president, or should we go over the cliff? you can write us at facebook.com/cspan. richmond, ky. go ahead, please. caller: yes. 1 about the social security and medicare.
they are not touching that. will there be a social security checks for all the old people like me in the united states? or will non-be sent out. the lady said she could not get an unemployment check. that comes from the federal government or the state, one in. i guess it just depends. host: >> we're going to go live to the senate floor. >> i just want to go on the record on the senate floor -- the sequester asked to be dealt with, substituted with other spending reductions. i am told that all of those involved in bringing this together understand even on the democratic side that was the understanding. not only was it to be dealt with through spending reductions. these were considered to be ham
handed and they are -- but they are dealt with on the same time period. we were not going to reduce $100 billion of the sequester and pay for it over 10 years. i know the president has fallen hackling congress. i think he lost numbers of votes with what he did. he did not lose mine. i am not that way. i vote on substance. it is unfortunate he does not spend as much time working on solving problems as he does with campaigns and pep rallies. i just want to say i am very disappointed in what the president had to say. in one senator. i want to go on record. it is unacceptable to pay for this sequester would revenue. yesterday we had a meeting that broke down because all the money wasn't spent. the president campaigned on raising taxes for the upper-
income. we have acquiesced to that. but yesterday the issue was there would be no deficit reduction. unbelievable. unbelievable. all the money was going to be out the door. >> a quick response from senator corker of tennessee, responding to the president's comments from the white house. get a sense of the tone and the frustration levels here at the capitol. we are 10 hours before we reached the so-called fiscal cliff. that government-imposed deadline for tax cuts, also sequestration. they will go into effect for 2013 unless a compromise is reached. the president says we are close, but there is no final deal.
some of our twitter comments -- richard is joining us from ohio. republican line. caller: thank you. i do not understand what is going on with the unemployment rate and everything else. i have been looking for work for nine months now. the only thing around here is dishwasher, stuff like that. my wife is disabled. there is no money in the household. and yet, they keep wanting to go up and up and up. i have no idea what to do to support my family. i know there are millions of americans out there, people in worse shape than i am. i have no idea where to go next. host: richard, have you talk to your members of congress?
caller: >> no, i have not. host: do you think any agreement lawmakers make today will make a difference? caller: honestly, i do not think it will make much of the difference. i thought we was doing good. i got injured on my job. the next thing you know, i am out of work. they would not take me back. so, it just does not make any sense. host: thank you, richard, for the call. we have cameras in two locations. a lot of activity in our nation's capitol. we are seeing other members your. senator rick santorum in the center of your screen, as other lawmakers are weighing in on the process in front of the cameras. we will take you there live.
mary joins us on the independent line. good afternoon. caller: good afternoon. i am disgusted with the republican plan of new taxes for the wealthy. they are the job creators. we have been waiting 10 years for them to create the jobs. i am tired of hearing that same excuse. and people are buying into it. i believe we should tax the rich. in lower income. not that low, but lo. -- but low. someone who is a million-dollar -- they did the equivalent of $37 on their income taxes and that is what people do not get. it really does affect the middle class, not having the rich tax. they are doing better on their income taxes. that is why their incomes are going up so much. as far as unemployment, i think two years is too long to give.
and i think after one year of unemployment, people should have to prove that they really have done all they can to get a job on a case by case basis, etc. i do sympathize. i am able to work part-time at least, so i am grateful for that. thank you for listening. i do not know if i can ever vote for a republican again, i am so disgusted. host: thank you for your calls and comments. we heard from the president in the last hour. in case you missed it, we will show it again. we have another comment from our twitter page -- "fiscal cliff would be a great disney attraction." "splash mountain meese hall of presidents." next, on the democrats' line. good afternoon. caller: yes, an industry to find out why it be government cannot
balance the budget and spend -- have you ever spent your checkbook? you would go to jail. they do not. what about that? host: ok. salisbury, missouri. go ahead, please. caller: i do not understand why president obama was doing at that rally. he needs to get in his car and go on down to the capital and try to figure out this mess. he himself and the democrats and republicans all equally created it. he is a democrat and he needs to take the leadership role and he has not done that. he does most to be the cheerleader and the champion. i am tired of the democrats'. host: ok, we will go to fort lauderdale, fla.. caller: i am very disappointed that the president has failed
to be, has chosen to create an environment of blame, which is not good for anyone. we did not really have this class warfare before. there is all this talk, but nothing about the real issue which is the debt. i am more worried about the future generations, bankrupting the future generations. and by not dealing with entitlements, what are we going to do? and he always talks about how entitlements -- the cuts will not really be entitlement cuts for 10 years. there's a lot of scare factor here. there's a lot of misinformation caller:. -- there's a lot of misinformation. someone needs to be a leader. and i want to know why we are paying the members of congress. they are useless. host: what is your frustration level in all of this? caller: overwhelming. the rich do not pay taxes --
that is totally and absolutely not true, so i do not know why we keep hearing this over and over again, because rich people do pay taxes. you know? i do not know why they keep blaming. there is not enough rich people in this country to help anything with the deficit at all. down the road, we will not have any money for our kids. we are using it all up now. everything that was put away for social security. so -- host: we have used this figure before. just to give you a sense of how rare, how unusual it is for congress to be in session on new year's eve, it has only happened on four occasions since the 1930's. world war ii, and the last time we saw them in session on new year's eve was 1970. this is truly are rare
occurrence for congress to be in session on a day like today. karen is joining us from eldorado, kan.. good afternoon. caller: i want to know about the older generation. most people in the united states cannot understand -- i am below the poverty level. if they cut medicare, how are people going to pay for their health care? why did the president borrow money from medicare if he is going to use it to pay for his new health plan? host: thank you. you can weigh in on our facebook question on facebook/cspan. we have this on twitter. you can join the conversation -- #fiscalcliff.
"it looks like the usa is definitely going over the fiscal cliff." go ahead. caller: >> that big comment about the rich do not pay taxes, they do not pay their fair share. then we go back to the situation -- recalling the bush tax cuts. if i am correct and i know i am, president bush was our republican. president bush was involved for eight consecutive years. he created the debt that was left for president obama to deal with. so for republicans to throw their hands up in the air to say they have no claim to any portion of this debt is completely ridiculous. host: ok. sure. caller: i am unemployed. i have been unemployed for the last several months. i am a financial controller by trade.
it is extremely difficult to find employment. i would truly appreciate for something to be settled today to it least give me my additional benefits i was originally granted but now is continued until the 29. host: thank you for joining us unsell -- thank you for joining us from california. the house republican whip sent out a memo earlier this afternoon saying that we do expect to have a series of votes later this afternoon. "today's schedule remains very fluid. members are advised to remain close to the capitol. please stay as flexible as possible as we move through the day. i will do my best to keep you updated." that is from the house republican whip. the house stands in recess at the moment. within the last half hour, the
president weighing in on this. he spoke to supporters from the eisenhower executive building just a short time ago. [applause] >> hello, everybody. thank you. please, everybody, have a seat. good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the white house. [laughter] now, i realize the last thing you want to hear on your sleeve is another speech -- on new year's eve is another speech from me. but i do need to talk about the
progress being made in congress today. for the last few days, leaders of both parties have been working towards an agreement that will prevent a middle-class tax site -- tax hike for 98% of all americans starting tomorrow. preventing that excite as been my top priority. it has been the last thing -- the last thing that the folks up to the stage can afford ouis pay another $2,000 in taxes. our businesses cannot afford it. our economy cannot afford. it appears that there will be an agreement to prevent this new year's tax hike in sight, but it is not yet done. there are issues left to resolve, but we're hopeful that congress can get it done. but it is not done.
so, are the reason that i wanted to speak to all of you here today is to make sure that we emphasize to congress and that members of both parties understand that all across america this is a pressing concern on people's minds. now, the potential agreement that is being talked about would not only make sure that the taxes do not go up on middle- class families. it also would extend tax credits to families with children. it would extend our tuition tax credit that helps millions of families pay for college. it would extend tax credits for clean energy companies that are creating jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. it would extend unemployment insurance for americans who are still actively looking for a job. i have to say that ever since i took office throughout the campaign and over the last
couple of months. my preference would have been to solve all of these problems in the context of a large jury agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain, whatever you want to call it, that solves our deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way. is not just deal with the taxes. it deals with the spending, so we can put all of this behind us and just focus on growing our economy. with this congress, that was obviously a little bit too much to hope for at this time. [laughter] maybe we can do it in states. we are going to solve this problem instead in several steps. last year, we started reducing the deficit through $1 trillion in spending cuts. those have taken place. the agreement being worked on now would further reduce the deficit by asking the wealthiest 2% of americans to pay higher
taxes for the first time in two decades, so that would add additional hundreds of billions of dollars of deficit reduction. so, that is progress. but we're going to need to do more. keep in mind last month republicans in congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest americans. obviously, the agreements been discussed would raise those rates and raise them permanently. [applause] but keep in mind, we still have more work to do. we still have deficits that have to be dealt with. we still left to think about how we put our economy on a long- term trajectory for growth, how we continue to make investments for education, things like infrastructure that help our economy grow. and keep in mind the threat of tax hikes coming up is only one part of the so-called fiscal cliff everybody has been talking about.
what we also have a facing us starting tomorrow are automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect. keep in mind some of the spending cuts will automatically go into effect and have an impact on our defense department, but they also have an impact on programs that are scheduled to be cut. you're using an ax instead of a spell. it may not always be the smartest cut. that is a piece of business that still has to be taking care of. i want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts, but those also have to be balanced, because remember my principle has always been to do things the balance, responsible way. that means the revenues have to be part of the equation in
turning off the sequester and eliminating these spending cuts, as well as spending cuts. the same is true of any future deficit reduction. we will have to do this and a balance, responsible way. for instance, and went to reduce our government health care bills for binding way to reduce the cost of health care in this country. that is something we should all agree on. we want to make sure there is medicare for future generations. the current trajectory of health care costs has gone up so high, we have to find a way to make sure that is sustainable. but that kind of reform has to go hand in hand with perform on our tax code so that individuals, the biggest corporations cannot take advantage of loopholes that are
not available to most americans. there is still more work to be done in the tax could to make it fair even as we are looking at how we can strengthen something like medicare. now, republicans think that i will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, and you hear that sometimes. so, we are just going to try to show only spending cuts down -- well. [laughter] shoved spending cuts at us that will hurt seniors or students or middle-class families without asking equivalent sacrifice and millionaires -- from millionaires or companies with a lot of lobbyists, etc..
if they think that is how this is going to work, they have another think coming. if we're going to be serious about deficit reduction, then it is going to have to be a matter of shared sacrifice, at least as long as i'm president, and i will be president for the next four years i hope. [applause] so, anyway -- for now, for now our most immediate priority is to stop taxes going up for middle-class families starting tomorrow. i think that is a modest goal that we can accomplish. we are close. but we are not there yet. one thing we can count on with respect to this congress is that if there is even one second left for you have to do what
you're supposed to do, they will use that last second. so, at this point it looks like i will be spending new year's here in d.c. -- you all will be hanging out here, too. [laughter] i can come to your house? i don't want to spoil the party. [laughter] the people who are with me here today, the people watching at home, they need our leaders in congress to succeed. the need us to all state focused on them. not on politics, not on special interests. they need to be focused on families, students, grandmas, folks who are out there working really, really hard and just hoping for a fair shot and
somewhere for that hard work. they expect our leaders to succeed on their behalf. so do i.. get this see if we can thing done and i thank you all, and if i do not see you -- if i do not show up at your house -- thank you, everybody. [applause] >> the president and then the last hour from the eisenhower executive office building. we take you now live to the u.s. capitol and the senate floor, republican senator john mccain. >> we are ironing this out before the people of the country pay a very heavy price. my friend from south carolina was around when we almost went over the cliff last time, as we were about to shut down the
government, and there were all kinds of consequences. we pulled back from the brink before we went over it, and it was the most serious of all of these that i have ever seen. i guess i would ask him, isn't it true that in our experience the president -- whether they be republican or democrat, no matter what your party affiliation, going back to the famous ronald reagan-tip o'neill relationship, they sat down together, the state social security for 25 years. it was tough medicine. the president of united states basically dismissed social security and medicare from his list of priorities, and what -- as my friend from tennessee when it out -- we have $16 trillion debt, and for us to say that we are not going to do anything
about spending, when we all know that spending is the biggest problem we have in this agreement, again, that is throwing kerosene on the fire on the other side of the capitol. and that is my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle who have committed to their constituents that we will not continue this hemorrhaging that has given us the greatest debt in the history of this country. i guess i would ask my colleague from south carolina, who is usually very modest and reticent in expressing his views, particularly for various media outlets peeping >> thank you, senator. i guess my first view is it is important -- it is better not to go over the clip than to go over the clip.
there is a hope that we will reach an agreement by the end of the day that raises taxes, tax rates on people who make over $400,000. i do not think that is a good idea, because it will hurt job creation. a better way to get revenue is to eliminate deductions and exemptions for wealthy individuals and take that money back into the treasury, lower tax rates to create jobs and pay down the debt. not won bipartisan group, senator mccain, has tried to solve our debt problem and our revenue problem -- >> those of the comments of the south carolina senator 20 gram from the senate floor. we want to share with you what some lawmakers are singing as negotiations continue between -- behind closed doors. midnight is the deadline.
headline makers have been at notified to stay close to the capitol. negotiation remains very fluid. 202-585-3882 is our line for republicans. 202-585-3880 is our ally for democrats. many of you are weighing in on twitter as well. #fiscalcliff. senator mccain commenting on the president's comments " antagonized the house." he said that we were close, but not quite there in terms of the deal. anthony joins us from st. paul, minn.. yes, anthony? >> i want to point out one thing i find very strange. all of these people we are acting to raise taxes on are
millionaires, and another comment i had to think about during the election -- because you have been making money while we have been in the recession, what makes you think that somebody is going to hire somebody if they are doing fine already? third, i remember when ronald reagan was in. i almost started death. a lot of people i know had very hard times. i know people who had pawnshops, people getting rid of rolex watches. i get tired when i hear about how great things were. thank you very much. host: brought in from michigan, democrats line. caller: the president -- it used to be that if you or against him, you were for terrorists. now that it is obama, we still have a war in afghanistan that we are finishing up keeping the
republicans are not saying anything about being against the american people. in my view, they are being terrorists. someone has to do what mother jones says. their religion is to keep the poor people from killing the rich. thank you. host: you can also join us on facebook. we are asking what is your message to congress today? should the president and lawmakers porch of compromise, or should we go over the cliff? this is from our twitter account. "please let us keep our unemployment benefits and do something about that whole milk staff will. that is all i asked." that is reporting to the farm bill. next, ohio, republican line -- go ahead, please. caller: yes, in the mother of three navy seals serving our country.
with the sequestration they are putting in place, at it is going to be something that brings a lot of military personnel home with no job, and i feel that a lot of our special forces are going to be the ones that have to deal with all these other foreign countries. what type of jobs are going to be available for army personnel, marines, that they have been dealing with any military sense they got out of high school? caller: thank you. charlottetown, missouri. good afternoon. caller: thank you. in a navy veteran myself.
a lot people are thinking that these men and women -- especially republicans -- who were elected to the congress are traitors to the united states. by that, i mean these men and women take an oath to protect the united states of america, and yet these people have allegiance to this grover norquist fellow. did they not realize that you have to have taxes to pay for these two wars that the republicans -- that was george w. bush who was in charge that time -- they started these wars. and yet, they are saying we have to control the spending. the spending is on these wars. so, let congress take a pay cut of about 35%, and take any revenue the dead and take that revenue and put it towards the debt to pay down our debt. our debt is caused by wars, not by social security, not by
medicare. we people who work out here, we pay into social security. we pay into medicare. so, let them take a pay cut. if they want to start cutting everybody, how about congress taking a pay cut? thank you for taking my call. host: christian, your message to washington on this deadline day, about 9 1/2 hours before we reached the midline -- the midnight deadline. caller: i do not think we should now go over the fiscal cliff, and i do not think it is responsible whether you are republican or democrat. i think both parties should unite and work for all americans. it is not obama's fault he was handed a mass. he has done a great job with that. honestly, i was a republican at the time when i voted for him and have since changed to become
a democrat. is not about the individual parties. it is about responsibility. if i am not responsible with my money, i pay. i have been recently disabled, and i have spent endless hours and days and weeks and months to try to get disability. and i am unable to get it. i am concerned about our veterans coming home, not having a job, concerned about children and grandchildren having no education so that they have to work so hard for what is already outrageous tuition. i could go on and on a. everyone is glued to their tv, wondering what is going to happen. it is time that we act like responsible adults and do the job.
host: keeping an eye on wall street as well. the markets are all up. the dow is up at this hour. many expect a market reaction depending on what happens. we have this from vicki, who had a comment -- again the hashtag is #fiscalcliff. "to representatives and senators -- to what is right. explain tripoli. and cut spending." alabama, republicans line. caller: thank you. i am retired military on a fixed income. i am a republican, but i do not think the republicans have my back. i think the democrats have been stubborn also. as far as the republic of the united states of america, there is a political agenda out there
-- none of the media covers agenda 21. the epa, the energy, the greek energy party, the green party, all this green energy going on in our country is all regulated to socialize our country. and the biggest thing that is going to bring us down to socialism is obamacare, because it is going to break our backs economically. it has been known for years, and you know it, too, that to control every country, you have got to control the economy. then you can control the people. this administration is working with the u.n. to bring the laws into our country circumventing the constitution, allowing the u.n. to tax us -- the u.n. is
supposed to bring out a treaty and make a treaty up that will remove all guns from all people in the world that belong to the un, and the only people who will have guns are police departments and the military. host: that is a separate issue. let's go back to this, the key issue. the fiscal cliff deadline is approaching. the midnight deadline. from montana, on airline for democrats, good afternoon, spike. caller: good afternoon, and caller: everyone. -- good afternoon, everyone. the fiscal cliff as been on the table for approximately a year. all this time, they have been able to take a look at. we need to increase tax revenues and we need cut spending. the amount of spending that they are doing is out of control and we know that.
so come -- so, i know that if i am spending more than in come, then i need to do something about that. i think our representatives and senators and our president need to respond instead of throwing rhetoric out there all the time about this site does not think this is baron this side does not think this is their. we need to stop sending $100 bills over to foreign countries and terrorist groups over their. all this so-called national security. we need to take care of our nation. i would ask our representatives, our senators, our president not to take this over the fiscal cliff, but get something done and take care of us in a sensible way instead of waiting to the last minute on all these different issues.
thank you for my time. host: thank you. another comment on our #fiscalcliff, "congress is so incompetent, i hope everyone is so happy about who they voted for in november." the 112 congress will be wrapping up this week. the 113th congress will be in on january 3. we have a number of news reports of. this is about what is going on behind the scene. senator tom harkin weighing in on this on the senate floor. >> i was disturbed to read in the washington post this morning that some kind of agreements are being made here, somehow that democrats have agreed to raise
the level from two lenders $50,000 to $450,000 -- from $250,000 to $450,000 and there was an agreement reached that we keep the estate taxes at the $5 million level at 35%. all i can say is, democrats do not agree with that. not at all. what it looks like is it looks like all of the tax things will be made permanent, but all of the things that middle-class america really depends on is extended for one year, maybe two years. two here is that in most. the tax increases may permit. i think that is grossly unfair. grossly unfair. and we're going to lock in forever the idea that $150,000 a year -- need i remind you that
at two under $50,000 a year, that is the top 2% in, person in america. -- top 2% income earners in america. i know the president says he wants to protect the middle class. fine. i am all for that. if you make $250,000 a year, he or not middle-class. your in the top two%. what have we forgotten? have we forgotten that the average income earners in america are making $40,000 a year? that is the real middle-class america and they are the ones getting hammered right now, hammered with housing costs, rental costs, heating bills come not going to school. they have no retirement.
now they're talking about raising the retirement age. people work hard every day, women standing on their feet 30, 40 years. raise the retirement age on them? well, again, if we are going to have some kind of a deal, the deal has to benefit the middle class, the real middle-class, people making $30,000, $40,000, $60,000 a year. as i see this thing developing, quite frankly, as i have said before no deal is better than a bad deal in this looks like a very bad deal the way it is shaping up. i just went to make it clear. i am all in favor of compromise. i have been here a long time. i have made a lot of compromises. i am willing to make more
compromises. this is one point in time where decisions that are made on the so-called deal, the decisions that are made could lock in for the next 10 years the kind of country we're going to be. the kind of society we are going to be. so, we better be darn careful. if no deal is reached, on the tax side, we go back to the taxes that were enacted under president clinton the bank we all voted -- at least all the democrats that were here then voted for the clinton tax bill in 1993. and we heard all kinds of talk from the other side of the aisle about how this is going to be a disaster, going to kill the economy, just going to be awful. and not one republican supported it. but we passed it. president clinton signed it into
law, and guess what? the economy took off. unemployment came down. we were paying down the deficit. we had three or four straight years of surpluses. cbo said we would pay off the national debt by 2010 if we kept on that way. well, then george bush came into office, and he looked all the surpluses, and he said, i guess what? we need to take that and give it back to the tax shelters. and that is what they did. that is what is ending tonight. all those tax cuts. then we go back to the tax system that we had under bill clinton. i asked -- what is so bad about that? it worked pretty darn well. the economy was going well. we were paying down the deficit. things were going well under bill clinton and that tax system and that is what we will go back to tomorrow. what is so bad about that?
well, what has happened is in the last 10 years, a lot of people have gotten very rich in this country. very rich. and now they want to protect their welalth. and that is what they want to do. they want to lock in this system on estate taxes. they want to lock it in. well, i think it is time for them to start paying their fair share. and they will under the certain tax provisions we have a new place for that time. so going back to the tax rates we have under bill clinton does not frighten me one bit. but now we hear the same song and dance from the republicans. 0, if we do that, the sky is going to fall. the markets will go all to hat. we heard that in 1993 and it was wrong.
we are hearing about what will happen if we go back to the clinton-era tax rates -- if they say the sky is going to fall, they are wrong again. they are just wrong again. i am not afraid of going back to a system of taxation that basically worked very well for our country. it was only the bush tax cuts that messed everything up. for 10 years, allowed a few people to get very rich, but kept the middle class from advancing at all. so, again, this idea that some now -- some now a deal is going to be cooked up that is going to make permanent, permanent all of these tax advantages that people have had over the last 10 years and they now have in the state taxes, they are going to make that permanent.
somehow that does not set well with the senator. and yet come at everything else when we talk about unemployment insurance, investment in other parts of our economy, the sustainable growth rate for hospitals and doctors and medicare -- well, that is only good for one year, you see. >> from earlier today, senator tom harkin on the floor of the senate. and now with an update, senator mitch mcconnell on the floor of the senate. >> we are very, very close to an agreement. we need to create job creators from this looming tax hike. everyone agrees that action is necessary. i can report we have reached an agreement on all of the tax issues. we are very, very close.
as the president just said, and the most important piece, the piece that has to be done now is preventing the tax hike. the president said "our most immediate priority is to stop taxes going up on middle-class families tomorrow." i agree. he suggested the action on the sequester is something we can continue to work on in the coming months. so, i great. -- i agree. let's pass the tax relief portion now. let's take what has been agreed to and get moving. it was not easy to get to. the vice-president and i spoke yesterday and then at 2:45 this morning and then again at 6:30 this morning and multiple times this morning. it has been a good day of negotiations. we all want to protect
taxpayers. and we can get it done now. right now. so, let me be clear. we will continue to work on finding smarter ways to cut spending, but let's not let that hold up protecting americans from a tax hike that will take place and about 10 hours. 10 hours from now. we can do that. we must do that. i want my colleagues to now we will keep -- to know we will keep everyone updated as we tried to wrap this up. i yield the floor. host: there you have it, from the senate republican leader who has been a key player over the last two hours. you heard his reference to vice- president joe biden and the negotiations between -- as the
negotiations shifted from senate majority leader harry reid to vice-president joe biden. he became part of the negotiations yesterday and eve -- into the evening hours. the senate republican leader seen we're very close to an agreement with 10 hours and 10 minutes to go before the deadline at midnight. and then we will see a lot of activity potentially from the house. we will continue with more of your phone calls as we monitor the situation. niagara falls, new york, democrats line. caller: hi. i just want to save the middle and lower class this have been suffering for this whole time. i mean, they are working. they are just barely making it, and not to pay their bills. whereas rich people -- they say
if we do not tax the rich, they are going to make more jobs. why is it that we have an unemployment problem? i mean, i think they are just throwing this money away. i do not think a big tax hike is going to hurt them that much. they are still making $600,000 a year. >host: thank you. this is being tweeted from senator mitch mcconnell. "the tax portion of the #fiscalcliff has been agreed to." sequestration, spending cuts totaling an excess of $500 billion -- that part is not on
the table. taxes would go up starting at midnight tonight. the deadline looms. nine hours and seven minutes before midnight. greg is on the phone, a gainesville, fla.. caller: thank you for this opportunity. i think we need to shift the tax burden away from the people of the united states and to the problem. i see the problem as being imports. we have lost millions of dollars of tax revenue, personal income. our tax structure in this country is deteriorating because of a few greedy individuals a decided -- have decided to export our jobs. what i would propose is what i call an fdr tax, a floating deficit reduction pacts. the tax would go as the deficit went up.
if we go down as the deficit went down. i think the imports -- i think they started this problem, and the need to, you know, revitalizes through this. let me give you one example. although sun. a utozone. they used to only sell american- made parts. now it is all chinese. they have taken over by autozone. host: thank you. our listeners can hear more on c-span radio. we just heard from senator mcconnell. he says that they are very close to a deal. the sequestration issue will be dealt with in the coming weeks and months. robert is turning us from canton, ohio. democrats lined.
caller: hello. one thing about the social security and stuff, that should be like a savings account. nobody should be able to get for any debt. that should be what we work for for our future. they should have to ask us if they want to use the us -- use that to pay debt. as for the taxes, the need to get their heads together and work together, and if they do not want to work together, we need to vote them out and get someone in there who will work hand-in-hand to make it for the economy. host: thank you for the call. again, the hashtag is #fiscalcliff. next, dan, frederick, md.. independent line.
>> senator harkin basically said what i was going to say. by thoughts on the fiscal cliff are, why don't we just let the bush tax cuts expired? host: on that point, where would you draw the line in terms of the middle class americans? the president said $250,000, but that threshold could now be $450,000. caller: i came from a pretty upper in the family. but i do not consider -- $60,000, $70,000 -- that is pushing at. $90,000? no, no. that is not middle-class. you are making more than triple what some of your average americans make in the year. host: ok. republican line.
caller: thank you. i just want to respond to tom harkin's comments. the housing market is largely responsible for the mess we're in right now. they voted not to pay taxes on $100,000 worth of gains every two years and extended mortgages to people who never in the history of our country could have afforded a home, under the idea that everybody should be able to have a shot at the american dream. i really -- i am just upset. they hold out until the last day when they had all year to deal with these issues. now the passion and the i read attitudes of people are coming into play -- and the irate attitudes of people are coming into play. i read a quotation.
whenever passion is substituted over reason, it threatens our recent. i just wanted to say that. host: we have the story from the weekend about how house rules were amended to get this on what many are calling a fast track in the house. mitch mcconnell saying that he and the vice-president are close to a deal on the tax part of the fiscal cliff. the macdill, west virginia, republican line. good afternoon. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have worked for the coal industry for 30 years. i have always been a faithful democrats. i am a registered republican now. i really try to pay close attention about how things have been going, and i think it is
really a shame that these, that our people cannot get together in the higher authority and come to an agreement, you know, this is just outrageous to mae. i like what mitch mcconnell has said. i like the part about the president and him coming to agreement on some parts there. but you know, the president is a good speaker and always has been. but when it comes to listening to the speech, i could quote you the rest of the line. ram things down the throats, that will never happen. you know, they took the elite few and went behind closed doors and click -- crammed down the health care bill. i do not know what the deficit was when the president came into
office, but we know that it keeps climbing higher and higher and we definitely need to get -- i run my household this way. if i cannot afford something, i cannot put the money into it. >> thank you for the call. four years ago the debt was about $12 trillion. as of today, we are close to $16.40 trillion. you can get that from the u.s. debt clock. we have a web site at c- span.org, about the fiscal cliff, leading up to this december 31 deadline, you can check it out anytime on our website. you can also weigh in on our facebook page. the question is -- your message to washington today.
should washington compromise or go over the cliff? joining us from bay city, michigan, democratic line. caller: i am calling in in reference to this. i think that we paid today. into social security for 40 years. they should not touch that. they should leave medicare alone. i would like to have a list of all the people that want these pork barrel things in. the names and states of the people who want this. we voted them in and they should be working for the people and not the party. >> where is your frustration level with regards to congress and the president? caller: the president should get off of his high horse and just renew the tax cuts and go on and cut these pork barrel things. one guy wants this from this state, one guy wants that from that state, i am tired of hearing this. >> we have gathered all of the
information on our website. on our homepage we will continue to monitor what happens in the house and senate as lawmakers continued to move closer to the tax issue, something we talked about this morning on "washington journal." host: maya macguineas is heading up the fix the debt campaign. welcome back. this says it all. "it looks awful." guest: i think we all feel that. it is not as though we did know the fiscal cliff was coming. there are huge challenges facing the country.
if we go over the fiscal cliff, the risk to the economy is strong. there is it to families is real. it is as if politicians are playing tug of war. as soon as we get through the fiscal cliff -- the hope is we would replace the fiscal cliff with real policies that would keep us from going over it. now looks as though we're not going to be able to do anything to tackle the challenges right now. the partisan environment is getting worse and worse. that leaves us with questions about whether these guys can govern. host: front page of "the new york times." let me read a few points. "more difficult to reach a compromise."
guest: that is absolutely true. i feel we're watching a game of finger-pointing and not much else. both sides are pointing fingers and shouting it is the other guy's fault. what if any other business environment worked this way instead of solving the problems and working together? the toxic environment calls into question when we of challenges or other important issues -- can the american political system step up and deal with it? the answer is not very well.
we feel saddened and disappointed by our ability to rise to the challenge of fixing the problems. host: some of that is aimed at you. you come up in this column as does howard schultz, the ceo of starbucks. people were asked to write "come together" on cups at starbucks. guest: people say we should talk about why it's the other side's fault and i disagree. there are as many points of view to how to fix the problems as people in congress. some of them denied it is a problem we have to fix. we have to do with getting jobs back and we have to do with bringing our deficit down. people are not going to be able
to implement their favorite approach and that is one the real work can begin. i tire of the washington environment where people are saying, it is his faults. they are here to do the job of fixing the country. that means they have to come together. as long as there is a partisan environment, we are not getting to the real work of solving problems. host: paul krugman goes back to say -- guest: i think it is a remarkable campaign that has sprung up in the past couple
months and is trying to bring together people with the first backgrounds and perspectives to change the way things get done in washington. they want a big debt deal that is big enough to fix the problem. it does it mean balancing the budget. fiscal hole is so deep. the deal they have been talking about right now falls far short of this kind of an objective.
what we're hearing would make the deficit worse. that means the fiscal cliff will not be the moment we fix the problem. the campaign to fix the debt says we need to look at how you raise revenues. that means broadening the tax base. if you get rid of the tax breaks, you could bring the rates down while raising revenue. you can do it by reforming the tax code in a way that would be better for the economy. right now rates are going to go
off. there is still room because we will not raise enough revenue. we make the case you have to cut spending and reform entitlements looking at the health-care programs and retirement programs, which are under real stress. any plan has to look at all parts of the budget. the fiscal cliff is an across- the-board whack and that would put us back into recession. we can protect people that depend on these programs and so that we do raise significant revenues. we believe any plan has to be a
bipartisan. it is about the country. it's interesting is how many people have stepped forward and saying to congress, stop making the situation worse. if you make the hard choices, the campaign to fix the debt will be there. a group of people are saying we support you in making hard choices. so far, we do not see that fix in place. there is real risk to the economy if we wait too long. host: you spend some time on wall street. the market was down on friday. could it happened this week? guest: anything could happen this week. the markets don't know what to
make about what is going on on capitol hill. we do not know what kind of deal is going to come out of this. it seems impossible the deal will be big enough to help deal with the fiscal challenges going forward. we will not have any of the stability in the economy and knowing what we will see around the corner. that uncertainty is bad for markets. we do not know what the markets have priced in. nobody knows if congress would come back and fix the problem with this would drag for a long time. i think the markets are paralyzed. when you see movements in the
markets they may happen very swiftly and abruptly. the point that would make about this is why is it the people we hired to run the country are getting to the brink where we are waiting with bated breath to see if the markets are going to suddenly lose faith in this country or if we will get downgraded? we have let it go so long when we have known this problem was out there for so long. i hear people saying there's not enough time to fix the problem now. this is not something that came as a surprise to us. the fiscal cliff was put in place by members of congress through the super committee and there were not able to come up with a big budget deal to fix
the problems, they said if we cannot come up with a deal, if we will have these automatic cuts police. they knew the tax cuts were expiring. there are no surprises here is there's only an inability of people to work together and make hard choices that must be made. host: as the story unfolded over the past 24 hours, the president weighing in on all this and the blame game back and forth between democrats and republicans. years when he said on nbc. [video clip] >> we have been talking to the republicans ever since the election was over. they have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers. yesterday i had another meeting with the leadership. i suggested to them if they cannot do a comprehensive package of smart deficit reductions, let's at minimum make sure that people's taxes don't go up and that 2 million people lose their unemployment
insurance. i was modestly optimistic yesterday, but we don't yet see an agreement. now the pressure's on congress to produce. if they don't, what i have said is that in the senate, we should go ahead and introduce legislation that would make sure middle-class taxes stay where they are and there should be an up-or-down vote. everybody should have a right to vote on that. if republicans don't like it, they can vote no. host: the president yesterday speaking. that led to a response from the speaker of the house john boehner. he issued a statement that included these words -- he says the president is the one who has never been able to get a yes. house passed legislation to avert the entire fiscal cliff canada and the president has never called for the senate to act on those skills in any way." it's part of a six-paragraph statement from the speaker of the house yesterday afternoon. guest: it's a lot of back-and- forth.
it's a lot of finger-pointing. they should all be in the room. they should be working on this until it gets done. every member of congress should feel an obligation to be putting forth solutions. it seems to me that there are far more focus on the political gains or downside of various deals than there is the true effect this as on the country. host: even if they were in the room with all the principles and the five or six principles agreed to plan, could pass the republican house of the democratic senate? guest: it depends what is in the plan. so far what we've seen is plans that are getting smaller and smaller. they are saying we cannot do this and things are getting
taken off the table. one of the things we have seen in different approaches to this in the past, the simpson-bowles commission, where this was about two years ago, it ended up being supported by a majority of bipartisan members who serve on the simpson-bowles commission. one of the things they found when they were struggling with this was the more things they're willing to put on the table, the more members will want to support something. if you actually put in place an overall deal that made progress at fixing the problem, and i think you would find a lot more support. instead, we are negotiating to the smallest level and you see people being unwilling to support it. the process is tricky. a number of people in the house really don't want to raise taxes. what they said its we will raise taxes if it is combined with significant spending cuts. a number of people on the democratic side say that we won the election and it's about raising taxes, we don't want to act to deal with entitlement
programs of. if you listen to what the president has said handsome leading members of the democratic party, if you don't deal with the challenges, social security and medicare will not able to do their job. if you combine the challenges, i do not think they should get in a room and work this out to try to deal with this. i can think you have a greater chance of success. >> in marietta, california, howard is on the republican line with maya macguineas. good morning. >> good morning. i am 72 years old and have been a conservative republican my entire life. and the reason i am a conservative is i don't think you can spend more than you make. maya is interesting. i would like to have lunch with you. i would like to see where you are coming from, we're your committee is coming from. a understand your motivation, what you are trying to do, and i commend you for that. there's not a conservative republican that i know of that would not agree to raise taxes
to 50% to 70%, but we have experienced before, if we do something about debt and deficits. we both know there are some liberals out there that don't know the difference between debt and deficit, but we do. and we know that when the new congress comes into office, 2/3 of the bills that were going -- that we are going to be producing have already been chiseled in stone. we have one-third of our budget that we can negotiate with. so, please explain to me why you think the republicans should raise taxes without lowering our debt. host: thanks for the call. guest: thanks for your question. i would be happy to have lunch with you. but it sounds like you are pretty far away.
i am a political independent. i don't look at this issue as about democrat or republican. a look at the issue as one that's about the economic health of the country and what we are leaving for the next generation. i truly believe we have already reached a point where we have sacrificed the kind of economy will turn over to the next generation and we should make these changes some time ago. it's becoming quite urgent that we not make all the cuts and revenue changes immediately, because it would derail the economic recovery, but put them in place as quickly, months and not yours is the timeframe we have now, because we need to get these plants in so we know what to expect and can make the changes gradually and thoughtfully. i agree with you. i understand where republicans are coming from when they say we don't want to raise revenues, we want the government to be
smaller, but we would be willing to raise revenue and only if tied with spending reductions. the first fight is the size of government, where republicans want the size of government to be smaller. democrats want the size of government to be larger. that fight will continue. that's always going to be the case. if we start that fight can say, continue to disagree, but whatever the size of government, we should be paying for that government. that's how i look at the issue. but there's no right or wrong, under what -- on whether our government is bigger or smaller. but charging it all on the national credit card and getting that bill to the next- generation is dangerous and damaging and it's wrong, particularly when the borrowing will not invest or grow the economy. i understand the point republicans make that if they put runners on the table, they want that to be combined with real spending cuts and entitlement reforms. that's part of the grand bargain.
i also understand the point democrats make, which is there's growing income and -- income equality in this country. wells have been doing very well over the past years, so they want to make sure revenues are collected from the people. i think they're starting to be political agreement that it is acceptable, that we will raise the news and it will focus on people making some amount of money. none of this is going to be enough. will have to go back and look more carefully at the spending cuts and entitlement reform and we will have to raise more revenue than the amount currently on the table. a large portion of our budget is on automatic pilot. tot's not a good way budgeting. what it means is we don't go back and look at every year now
we are budgeting for our health care programs and retirement programs. it means there's not enough oversight or conscious decision making about whether that is the best way to spend our dollars, how we could improve them. and i are going to continue to spend money, how we're going to pay for it. the other part of the budget that on automatic pilot is the tax breaks. a trillion dollars a year plus in tax breaks, deductions, exemptions, credits. bills also do not go to any kind of annual process where they are looked at and we say, are they working, are they worth the amount of lost revenues? the whole fiscal challenge is putting on us the obligation to take a lot more time and oversight on the budget, to think about how we are spending money, if it's the right way, if the programs are working? and, assuming we want to keep them in place, how we're going to? sopa fights will go on forever. but if this country could at least agree we are going to pay for the government spending we are in, that would be a tremendous first start. if people are going to be serious about fixing the problem, any grand bargain will require real revenues, but they need to be combined with real spending reductions and changes to the entitlement programs. right now their own trustees are saying it's not sustainable for longer-term and the slower we make the changes to them, the better. host: our guest is of the harvard school. ron has another point of view -- guest: one of the complicated
things about this is the fiscal cliff actually is deficit- reduction. as a group concerned about big deficits and trying to find ways to reduce the deficit, you look at the fiscal cliff and you think, it actually does have the kind of changes we need to be talking about. it would have more revenue and spending cuts. the concern we have and that is prompted by ben bernanke or the congressional budget office or lot of outsiders, looking at the way the fiscal cliff is structured, where finds that it actually has too much debt as a production, and i say that as someone who generally does not worry about too much depth as a production, because politicians are so unlikely to reduce the deficit much, but if we went over the cliff, there would be in too what steps the production. takes a wax and domestic discretionary spending -- it takes a big whack at domestic discretionary spending. so we should replace the fiscal cliff with more thoughtful deficit-reduction. make sure that you reduce the deficit in a way that is phased in gradually so we don't seem
too much this year. we are all aware the economy's not going as well as it should be. if there's a way to do this more gradually, it would be better for the economy, but you need to lock in the changes so we know we are serious and stick with them, and that it is done more thoughtfully. so that it is an across-the- board hit at many but not all parts of the budget. some of those parts of spending should increase and some of them should become removed, because they're not working. instead of policy-makers turning to automatic sequesters to do their work for them, it would be ideal for them to make the choices about how to budget. the point the caller makes is the fiscal cliff would create deficit-reduction. the thing that's worse than the fiscal cliff would be in punting on all this.
if politicians do what they often tend to do at the last minute is a we cannot make these choices, let's just extend the tax cuts and wave the spending cuts, and let's just stick can down the road again, that would become -- probably would not put us in recession right away, but that would be immensely damaging and much more damaging to the economy in the long run. host: the president said he would veto that. guest: what they might do is extend a lot of the tax cuts, with some of the spending, and not offset any of the cost. in the past couple december's, there have been last-minute fight. about extending the tax cuts in 2010 and the payroll tax cut in 2011. at last minute the politicians, with a deal that makes the deficit worse-- and come up with a deal that makes the deficit worse. the real test will been when they can do their jobs and make the hard choices and confront
very dangerous debt levels that we currently have in this country that are part of the reason the economy is not growing. it's those hard choices that will be the real test of bipartisanship and the ability to govern. you: let's share with yesterday how things unfolded. senator john thune spoke with reporters midday yesterday on capitol hill. [video clip] >> those conversations and discussions continue. we remain hopeful that will get a breakthrough. what happened between the two leaders in the senate had broken down, because the senate democrats failed to come forward with a counteroffer to the proposal republicans made last night. host: a late word from "politico" from republican
leader mitch mcconnell. let me read to you a story that he and the vice president engaged in "serious overnight negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff, making major progress to a year-end tax deal, giving seven hoped to buy stakes than had been on the brink of collapse over the last couple days. guest: i think they may be able to pull something off in the senate. workingthey're together. that's a good first step. i'm really concerned and what they end up coming up with will make the deficit situation worse. that would be ok in the short run, if they had a plan to make the deficit situation better in a longer-term. i only hope they are talking about serious measures that would actually make medium and long-term improvements. but i'm really worried they're not. i'm worried this will be a bipartisan throwing the tough choices to the side and extending things people want to make sure not to him republics
without asking any of us to be part of fixing the problem. what we really need is to see some real choices. host: senator joe manchin of west virginia had this to say on the senate floor. [video clip] >> something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to the american economy is the american congress. host: back to your phone calls. lamar is joining us from cleveland, ohio, democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning, everyone. i just have a few comments regarding mrs. maya macguineas. i have seen a few of your events. it seems that some of those events you have had have not been as much as displaying the bipartisan you are speaking about this morning. i think that's a good thing. a lot of what you are saying makes very good sense right now. and my other comment was there is no argument that there has never been such a non-governing congress. in the last two years, there's never been anything like the debacle that's going on. you really have to look at the reason is, mitch mcconnell set
the tone when he said that his main goal and objective was to make president obama a one-term president. host: thanks for the call. our website, fixthedebt.org is our website. guest: i'm not sure which events you've seen, lamar, but we tried to do everything we push out in the public and privately as well in a bipartisan way, because i am a diehard political independence. i don't think either side is right or wrong. much more important than that is if this is how you have to have a national discussion.
there are going to be differences of opinion. we all have that in every single and permit in which we work. we are still expected to function. the same standard just past to be here in washington, which is it is perfectly ok and it's good that people will disagree about their first choice for lots of things. in the end, it is how you actually put aside all those differences in order to function, how you compromise, how you work together. the same lesson we try to teach our kids. we try to talk about things like how you control health- care costs, how you raised revenues and reform the tax code, different kinds of budget and policy issues. i always like to bring together
a whole group of policy experts who run the gamut on the policy at the spectrum, because i think it makes for much more interesting discussion. we can do this. we can have this national discussion. in terms of fixing the debt, i hope everybody will come and people will get engaged to learn much more about the organization at our website. it is a group that is funded primarily by businesses. we have had over 100 ceo's who stepped up and personally guided in this whole effort. they are really true leaders in this. they have said we are not going to come to washington and talk about this tax break for this regulation or the different kind of things you usually think about business is talking about with policy leaders. instead we are going to use this time to talk about the importance of an overall debt deal. we really actually don't support any specific policies or any specific debt deal. we think it's going to be policy makers who make those decisions. what we supported their willingness to tackle these issues.
we want to create a network of support for when they do. because we know what's going to wrap and. whenever there's a debt deal, every lobbying organization is going to come for and say you cannot touch to this, you cannot attack that. a a our people say you cannot cut spending entitlement programs. -- aarp will say. other groups will say you cannot touch home mortgage interest rates. it will be a lobbying bonanza. what we want to do with hundreds of thousands of citizens want to get involved and engaged in their state organizations as well, we want them to say to members of congress, we actually understand why we have to make these hard choices. for decades we have been cutting taxes, raising spending programs, we have not been paying for any of this, and we understand it's time to change the way we do business in
washington and we are going to come together and do that. we hope to deliver a very different kind of message to washington. as everybody can see, it's a hard thing to do. it is a political environment. the blame game is running strong. but i truly believe we will not able to tackle these problems until we change the tone. so we are trying to change the tone. the committee for responsible federal budget, which works with us, as always been a small non- profit, non-partisan organization did this campaign is setup for temporary amount of time to bring together a diverse group of people to build operations in the state's public education and road shows over the coming months to talk about this to hear different voices, to get different people around a table talking about this. we have been lucky to have so much support in a bipartisan way, i believe is the only way we will get this job done. host: let me share a couple comments from our social media -- the deadline is today. guest: there's extraordinary measures. host: this is what it looks like. let's go to betty from carson,
kansas, republican line. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i've been at this for many, many years. what is caused by a privatized war and no jobs available? no congressman, no president that can handle the generals like truman had to with his sign that said "the buck stops here." i am a republican, but i'm not proud of it at the moment. i think back to truman when he
had to face macarthur, who said i'm going back to bhutan and i'm running for president and this and that. truman had the nerve to call him in and say, buddy, you are not going to do anything, i am retiring you and if you expect your retirement money, you had better go on home and shut your mouth. so he said, old generals do not die, they just fade away. that is exactly what they should do. the generals that we have now are not controlled by our congress. they bring them in, ask them
questions, what can we do, why are you doing this, etc.? the big entitlements are going to the companies that are privatizing the war. and there has been a lot of controversy over the years about this. privatizing medicare immediately made all the medicare products, doctors, everything else, go up in price. that's what's happening with the generals. host: we will get a response. guest: there was a lot covered. when we talk about privatizing the entitlements, it's not what much of the discussion is now. really the biggest focus is on
health care, how are we going to control the cost of growing health-care? health care costs are growing faster than the overall economy. we need to find a way to bring the costs more in line with the economy. at the same time, retirement costs are going just because we have a growing aging population during the baby boomers moving into retirement and a lot more people collecting benefits. privatization of these programs, which has not occurred, for the most part, you might be talking about a couple different pieces of the medicare program, was something that was
discussed before and is not a centerpiece of discussion right now. i do think what we need to think about is how you more thoughtfully used these programs to make sure that everybody needs them is well protected but also that there on a solvent basis. social security trustees of the program warn every year and not bringing in enough money to pay for all the benefits we have promised. so we want to think about ways we are gradually going to make changes to these to get them under control. host: i just want to share one other comment -- let's just share with you and the audience again, if nothing happens, if we go over the cliff, what will we face? if you make $20,000 a year or less, your average tax increase would be $412 a year. the issue of spending cuts, so called sequestration, $65 billion in automatic spending cuts, another $26 billion in unemployment benefits that will expire. and the doc fix is not fixed. as you watch the developments today, what are you looking for? guest: this is the wrong way to govern. it's the wrong way to get it done. what i think we really need is to replace all these abrupt extensions that are making up the fiscal cliff with a well thought out changes throughout the budget on the spending, on
entitlements, on taxes. we have to do it all and we have to do it thoughtfully and proactively. what i fear we will see is a grab bag of things that people may want to get rid of. they basically want to make them disappear, so the wave the magic pen and say we will keep the policies in place but we will not pay for it appeared that what i'm afraid we will see. what i hope they will do is put in place the next steps. so if they do something that avert the cliff, which would be a good thing, i hope they have an agreement so january the members come back to town and keep working on this. this is not an issue they can walk away from. until we deal with a fiscal challenges, be cannot deal with any of the problem. we really are devising our economy.
the consequences of inaction here on fixing our depth is a and death situation are tremendous. the people who will bear the biggest cost of this is the next generation. i think it reflects an incredible unwillingness to do the right thing by our kids and grandkids to not come together and fix the problems. i hope whatever they do in the senate and if it passes the house, and it's not clear whether it will, is put in a next step so they say we're not done, that this is the beginning and we will come back and work on this problem until we put in place a sensible budget plan, because we cannot keep going on the current path. host: maya macguineas, president of the committee for responsible federal budget and the head of the fix the debt campaign. thanks for spending your new year's eve with us. guest: happy new year to you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] zornick, -- tomorrow morning our first guest on "washington journal" will be george zornick.
mitch mcconnell says that he has reached an agreement with the white house on taxes, the spending remains a point of contention. tax rates are scheduled to go up on nearly all americans tomorrow. those comments were made on the senate floor less than one hour ago. congress would have to vote on any agreement. we will have live coverage from the floor of the house here on c-span. the senate homeland security committee released findings on the september attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. terrorists "essentially walked into the compound." we will also hear from the chairman, joe lieberman. >> throughout our years together as chairman and ranking member
of the homeland security and government affairs committee, the senator and i have taken seriously our responsibilities to oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of governmental agencies. especially when matters span multiple agencies. the accountability review board of the state department has issued a report on the events that took place in benghazi, september 11 of this year. i think it is excellent. there are other committees in congress that have begun other investigations and i think that each of these will contribute to our understanding of what happened in benghazi and help to make sure that nothing like it happens again. under the senate rules, our committee has a special responsibility for oversight. as i said, for the interaction
of different agencies of government, it is through that lens that after the tragic events of benghazi on such a member leventhal, the senator and i began our investigation. obviously we were time limited by the end of this year and end of this congress, the end of my service here. i am grateful not only to the senator for once again the extraordinary by partisanship we have had, but also our staffs who have worked together for well. they really work through the holiday when i must ask for my benghazi team to come down to our first floor office. the numbers were smaller than they had been earlier, but they had all worked very hard.
so, this report that we are insuring -- issuing today has a 11 findings and recommendations that we really believe will help to save lives in the future. i think that you all got a copy of the report. these are the most pertinent conclusions and findings. in the months leading up to the attack, there was a rising crescendo of evidence from the u.s. intelligence community and opens sources to our government that benghazi had become dangerous and unstable. and that a significant attack against american personnel was becoming more and more likely. the system was in fact flashing red in libya and benghazi,
particularly as the undersecretary of state told the art committee in a briefing. that is what we call our report, flashing red, a special report at benghazi. the tragedy, however, is that the reaction to the flashing red indicators, which were woefully inadequate to the dangers of the question -- as was indicated by the result of the tragedy that occurred. on the one hand, you have dozens of intelligence reports and acts of violence in benghazi that make it very clear that this is becoming one of the most dangerous places american diplomats and government personnel could be outside of a
war zone like afghanistan. on the other hand, the woefully inadequate response from our government, considering all of the information from the intelligence community and circulated throughout, and came from department personnel in libya and benghazi specifically. we spent some time in our investigation looking at house security is maintained in these facilities. in the first instance is the responsibility of the host nation. that is international law, which was established in the convention. this year in libya, it was clear to everyone who look at the bolivian government was incapable of carrying out the
responsibility to protect those facilities and personnel. not because it lacked the will, but because there was a government that was friendly to the united states because of the will be played in the overthrow of gaddafi, they did not have the capacity. the state department and began to rely on local security and local militia, documented by any evidence presented in the report. we have a dangerous situation with inadequate security, yet the state department it -- failed to take adequate steps to support security requests from their own personnel, failing to
make the one remaining decision that cries out to me as evidence, which was simply to say that we have to close this facility as we cannot protect american personnel in benghazi. there was a very averell theme struck by the personnel at the state department that they simply have to go to the places that are dangerous. this is true and admirable. but it is not responsible for us, for the government to keep them in those very dangerous places unless we provide them with adequate security. in this case we clearly did not. our attitude was to close the facility until we could give minimal and adequate attention to the personnel.
secondly, the department of defense and the department of state had the assessed the facility in the event of a crisis for the attacks, like the one that has occurred. when it did, the department of defense mobilize resources very rapidly, but the painful reality was that the department of defense did not have assets, equipment, or personnel close enough to reach the mission in benghazi in a timely fashion. in other words, to protect the lives of people there. after the september 11 attack, the department of defense and department of state jointly work on these evacuation plans at the
u.s. facilities worldwide. particularly in these high risk environment. it is critically necessary. given the places nearby, the department of defense should provide more access to the personnel based on the land and adjacent waters in africa to better protect and defend americans and our allies. third, benghazi was clearly a terrorist attack. it was so clear from the beginning. it was self evidence to the intelligence community and the department of state on the ground in benghazi. nonetheless, it was discussed in the report that inconsistent
statements were made by people in the administration, it increased the confusion about what had happened in benghazi. i understand, we understand that the attack occurred in september in the middle of a very heated national election campaign. this could have avoided some of the controversy and confusion that surrounded it. in particular, the talking points implemented by the intelligence community in response to the request if you days after the attack were then distributed to the administration and were subjects, in our opinion, of much division in the discussion of the attack after it occurred.
that was intensified clearly by the fact that talking points were issued in the middle of the national campaign, where they had a high degree of confidence about what happened in benghazi. the terrorist attack was later told withdrawn. so, we concluded that while the intelligence community has a duty and a mission that is certainly to inform the public and people in congress, keeping us informed of security threats in the united states, it is not their responsibility to draft
unplanned talking points in the state -- in the center of a national campaign. we ask that they declined to do anything like this in the future. that is a summary of three of the main themes of the report. the senator and i have always worked to assist congress to prevent things like this from happening again, honoring the extraordinary service from ambassador stevens and the three others that died that day in libya, making sure in that sense that they did not die in vain. >> good morning. the report that we are issuing today represents the last joint investigation that chairman
lieberman and i have undertaken as the leaders of the senate homeland security committee. i want to start by thanking my partners for their extraordinary leadership in the investigation, but throughout the many years that we have worked together. this business report was authored in the same bipartisan spirit as the investigation into the attack on fort hood and the government's response to hurricane katrina, a lust others. we began our investigation shortly after the attack in benghazi. since that time our hard-working staff and ourselves have reviewed thousands of papers and
pages of classified and unclassified documents, interviewing many senior and mid-level government officials and outside experts, reviewing publicly available information as well. it has been the most public investigation possible given the amount of time we have had to conduct it. when i have had our overall findings, i am left with one salient fact. the terrorist set it ablaze it due to extremely poor security in an environment where the
undersecretary of state, patrick kennedy himself, has conceded was flashing red they were all very compound. indeed, the attack aimed at the british ambassador's cause of the british to pack up and leave the very next day. the fact is that and it could fall the dangers if canoeists or responded impulsively and we repeated the need your more security. on the ground in libya.
i agree with the chairman and this finding is reflected in the report, that while we understand the importance of a strong american presence around the world, even into very dangerous places, we have an obligation to the american personnel serving there to provide them with security and make them as safe as possible. until. it is very troubling to me that there was not -- if there was an overreliance on local guards who were either unreliable or had conflicting loyalties.
it is also live says -- unacceptable that the state department failed to invest in relatively inexpensive security measures and were recommended in a way to a -- the wake of the 1990 buying reliance -- 1990 bombings. the inspector general's report might well have slowed the swarm of attackers into the compound. that is a very troubling decision. like senator lieberman, i am concerned that the department of defense and it is a rescue in a
timely fashion. now, there was no chance, in my judgment, that the department of defense could have got to benghazi in time to save the attacks. because their deaths happened so quickly and it was the second attack that killed two of those security officers in the other compound, the amex that was part of that compound ships, weapons, other assets that they all hold to be able to respond in the course of several hours, particularly to an area that we know that we know is an increasing risk of terrorist attacks. let me emphasize that i do not view this as the fall of the
pentagon, but rather, an indication that the department of defense has insufficient assets to respond to attacks at this time -- of this type. let me comment on the administration's response to the attacks. this was so obviously a terrorist attack that i remain perplexed that the administration's officials gave such conflicting responses to questions from reporters about whether or not it was a terrorist attack. this was clearly not a peaceful protest that somehow got out of hand and evolved into a violent
attack. instead, it clearly was a terrorist attack. and this, unfortunately, has been typical of what the committee has found over the last few years in our investigations of radical islamic extremism and the threat of the perversion of a peaceful religion practiced by the vast majority of muslims. the threat of the perversion of that etiology to attack our country remains a great threat. and yet, the administration repeatedly has refused to name the threat that we have faced. it was evident in the department of all land security -- homeland
security's report. it was evident that the administration's said initial response, the christmas day bomber, the fort and the massacre that put out an issue about workplace violence. if we are to fully understand and effectively counter this threat, we must not hesitate to distinguish it from the peaceful is lawn that is practiced by the vast majority of muslims. >> i am happy to try to answer your questions. >> the secretary of state clinton have to testify under oath?
>> like everyone else here, based on the news, i just want to say how much secretary clinton is in our prayers this morning, i hope that she recovers rapidly from this wholhealth problem. i have a slight advantage over here because i met hillary in the early '70s in she was quite impressive than. as was the guy she was dating at the time. secondly, she has made clear that she will testify and i think that is a good idea. i also appreciate a response to what happened.
in response to our committee's request, the state department submitted thousands and thousands of documents. at no point did they see any indication that there was a decision from secretary clinton specifically to deny requests for additional funding for security ha. as far as we can see, the mid- level managers that have been held accountable, this is my way of saying that we find no evidence of direct responsibility, but she has taken a very strong response to the accountability report, had
said she would implement the foundations. which is to say that they will look at evidence and try to take steps to make sure nothing like this happens again. >> the accountability measures from the state department. what more is needed. >> my hope and my expectation is that what the secretary clinton has announced she will carefully review our report, and see if there are other officials that need to be held accountable, it is difficult for us to make that judgment. i believe it is likely that there are others that need to be
held accountable. i think that is the decision best made by the secretary that has the best understanding of the chain of command, how far up and the request for additional security. >> the real accountability here is what they do to make sure that another diplomatic location is flashing red, that they react to it. they do something to protect american personnel. i know hindsight is always clearer, and when you look documents referred to in the report, it is clear that in so many different ways, the
personnel of the state department, hot they say that this is dangerous. we are not adequately prepared. we wish you a good day. >> the house was in session earlier today for a rare new year's eve session. they are in recess right now, but we expect a vote later today on several bills. no votes are scheduled for the fiscal cliff. when the house reconvenes, we will have live coverage. president obama said an agreement is in sight in the senate republican leader came to the floor this afternoon to say an agreement had been reached on taxes but no agreement yet on
the spending cuts that are part of the fiscal cliff. you can watch both of those statements on our web site. >> a lot of people that i no looking back on the past 40 years will say that ever since apollo, the space program has been a jobs program. how many jobs can we get in your district or your state? the space shuttle passed by one vote because it was passed all around the country. we had people working in different places. i can tell you some pretty brutal story is about politics that get involved in the space program. bring home the bacon.
jobs get votes. in votes key congressmen and senators in office. >> buzz aldrin on the past and future of the space program, and from brown university, the 2012 presidential election. now a conversation on emerging economies like china, india, and brazil. we will hear from a new york university economist that says china is on the decline. he says sustainable economic growth is not possible. another economist argues china will continue growing. it is moderated by one of the magazine's editors. >> the emerging economies were the place to go if you wanted to
feel optimistic. this year, there is a pretty sharp slowdown in emerging economies and i think a lot of questioning as to whether they can keep up the stellar growth rates. whether there is something bigger changing. if the models themselves have to be looked at. that is what has to be looked at for 2013. we have outstanding individuals that are both known for very contrary and views on emerging economies, we will start with bill easterly. he is probably best known to you for his books that have been best sellers. why the west has done so much harm and so little good, a very non-provocative book.
and how they both fundamentally changed the way people thought about growth and development. bill was named as one of the top intellectuals, one of the most influential voices. [applause] what is going to happen? have they lost their luster? will they retain in it? >> ellen to focus on china. we're talking already about the chinese economic slowdown, and i think this is a major moment for -- a major moment for development thinking. the idea of the authoritarian growth miracle that china has done so much to promote is really over at this point. let me give you a couple insights as to why it might be
over. the first is that authoritarian groschen miracles don't last. hall asked a question of you. how many of you have heard about the togalese growth miracle? raise your hand if you have heard of that? i thought we would have more in the audience. the reason you have not heard of it is that it only allows from 1960 until 1975, when things did not go that well. the point of the example is that they don't last. they go on for a while and systems are prone to booma nd bust. -- boom and bust. we keep thinking the chinese one is going to last forever.
this is going to last forever. it is going to slow down a lot more. why does that give us insight into the grove miracle? let me take a drink of water before i give you this profound insight. if it was never really an authoritarian miracle to begin with, let me make two simple points. we thought the effect of political and economic freedom was not on the change of income, but countries with heavy
political repression, and economic repression or reports. what does that imply? when you see rapid growth, one possible thing that could be going on, you have predicting changes. you have a change in freedom and that change predict the change in income which we call rapid economic growth. what happened in china? yet one of the worst to egalitarian systems and history, and you had a big increase in freedom. you even had some increase in political freedom. compared to the totalitarian system, the chinese people today are much more free, even politically.
this release all the energies and the tremendous dynamism of the chinese people. if you want that growth continued, you have to key changing freedom in the right direction. that is the story line i am going to give you as to why the miracle will not last. i will illustrate with an example from the onion. i thought it would buy the extra time. i don't know how many of you have heard this story recently, the onion that i hope you all know is a satirical newspaper declared north korea's leader the sexiest man alive. and the chinese communist party official newspaper did not realize this was a satire and a reprinted it.
congratulations for being named the sexiest man alive. this is a little bit funny. i think there is a little bit of insight into the current chinese leadership there as well. if leadership only allows worship with leadership and allows that kind of irreverent, they don't recognize satire when they see it. they don't recognize it when it comes along. it might seem absurdly you could possibly mistake and onions story for the real story, but they did. the lesson is the fundamental flaw of an authoritarian system, you have no feedback. you need feedback to hollow correct and when the bus comes
to prevent her from being too deep. we now know that, thanks to the onion. >> i think that i will first have that, a very influential writer that was shaking up the conventional wisdom. why aid is not working and there is a better solution for africa. and winner takes all solution for china and what it means for the world. and this time, what is going to happen in 2013? [applause] >> i can only say, ye have little faith.
i think you are absolutely wrong. i don't want to get arguing why, but i will give my prediction for 2013. why do i say that? i will talk about the bricks in a minute. i am talking about south america, eastern europe, parts of asia. why do i love this story? it is basic macroeconomics. the key ingredients that drive growth. we know the story of debt, deficit, fiscal cliff. we know that the story of the aging population and financing,
if you look at the statistics are round or they measure the performance in mathematics, science, and reading, you can see where the problem is. today, they were in the number 27, 28, and so on. productivity generally is the x factor that accommodates for 60% of why one country grows and another does not. generally, it includes things like political dynamic, so we know what is happening there. that is not my prediction. look at this framework, capital,
labor, productivity. you will see why i am incredibly bullish. in terms of capital, these economies by a large did not have the debt burden that other countries are facing right now. why is that important? these countries are not suffering from a deal leveraging problem. 60%-70% is under the age of 25. in you got there, over 50% is under the age of 15. we can talk about that once i sit down. once again, a really interesting story.
they were talking about 30% increases over goods and services. in virtually all statistics, things like political improvements and freedoms, this is really essential. countries like rwanda have been ranked no. 1. if you look around the markets, you will see the authority. 90% of the world's population. they're going to see improvements in those lives.
there will be issues, but the story is very strong and that is why we are seeing the story being very positive. >> tell us about the frontier markets because you cite the story of capital labor productivity. it will explode very dramatically? >> i think there is a clear delineation between the advanced emerging economies and the frontier economies, but our related or integrated it is to the developed market, how much
exposure do they have? in terms of trade and foreign direct investment, it is heavily dependent on the united states and europe. africa has 1 billion people and is less than 2% of world trade or direct investment. the real engine of growth is not going to be trade, unfortunately. if you look at valuations of the bank's and trading in the local market, the story is credible and hits to the story rather than be integrated. >> it doesn't depend on commodity prices? >> it does, to some extent. but it is not entirely the case. today, there are about a thousand stocks and over 85% of
stocks or commodities. the think they're missing out on one of the biggest trades -- nigeria is significantly in driven by the banks. but this story is being replicated in places like colombia, peru, bangladesh, sri lanka. this is a about a desperate or insatiable demand for services. i will say that we know that china is slowing, but i don't think it is a hard landing. of course, to the extent china is the biggest buyer of these commodities, it will impact.
>> let's focus on china. you have very different views on et. i sense a somewhat determinism in your view. is there not any capacity for this new leadership? we can implement the kinds of economic reforms that are needed. do think that they just cannot do it? >> i think the latter that you cannot do it. you need to have an open and intellectual debate going on with society to get the feedback he needed to get the correct economic reforms. we have been able to get away with it for a long time. it is running out now, and this
cannot go on without having an honest and critical feedback about what is wrong with the current system. you only get that with freedom of speech and freedom of thought. >> you have some feedback. you do have the capacity for some kind of summit. it is not as black and white. what do you think we need for the growth miracle? >> you have chinese twitter but it doesn't allow engaging with the rest of the world. there is a curtain where the autocratic countries are behind , and those of the countries where you don't only allow the debate but the international spread of ideas. >> every time i am in july, i don't feel that.
but you are more upbeat about china. you think that you still termed the authoritarian growth miracle to continue? >> i will throw out a couple of statistics. around 50 million for school and business, virtually all of them go back. if you look at the data that is coming from education, after you finish your studies, you get one year of extra. 92% of the emerging markets head back to chinese. i think that we will have of flood of more people. this thing about the united states, it is something that we heard last week.
it is called making democracy work, but they reminded us that the united states for many decades, without housing the universal suffrage, i will give you specifics. the u.s. constitution was written in 1787. it was very clearly articulated. we took the united states until 1956 before there is universal suffrage in this country.
they have sustainable growth that has propelled the world to a new level of both income level and so on without having democratic society in the way that we know it today. does that mean i am saying it is great? i am not. i am saying that we need to be a little bit more patient because china is having this discussion. the question is about implementation. this is what i hear from chinese people every time we go there. we know that we need to have democracy. how do we implement democracy? there is a piece written about democracy on the ground and we know that they have hall elections. it is not perfect, but it is
better. >> this is a question about the emerging markets. >> the u.s. example is very relevant for emerging markets in the long run. we are having a discussion that i think is useful. you never have a perfect democracy. there is evidence that we still don't have a perfect democracy. it makes it possible to have this increase in freedom where the double standard in which what is male, and that double standard has progressed over time.
appealing for that civil-rights revenue, that is what makes it possible. china and the poor countries are going to be condemned to not have a positive change that you need so much. >> can i push back home another? by the standards of what he laid out, india is doing pretty well. there are many parallels with the u.s.. if you look at what has happened, huge excitement with double-digit growth and a very young population.
in indian terms, it is very low. a few supply side ha problems, but they are not different in the sense that everyone knows they need to get done. >> we don't decide on global warming depending on weather today is a warm day or not. we are talking about long-run predictions. i think this out luck already has the growth miracle that it has already had with being a democracy.
democracy is much more than majority-run elections. there is massive corruption, and massive violation by the rich to realize dramatic -- democratic potential. >> if you have more specific questions. >> nevertheless, whether the party will be to the internet, the fact 1. >> i think it is harder to predict.
i am hopeful it will happen in china sooner rather than later. the fact that so many chinese intellectuals and well-educated engineers and scientists are going back, they will be part of the vanguard to bring us back. that is actually a sign of hope. >> [inaudible] >> is singapore the exception to yourthe vanguard to bring us ba. view of the world? it.aiwan while you're at >> several countries in africa. >> let's not forget one of the
basic point i was trying to get across. growth, which is why we get so excited about east asia, it is about changes. singapore also had a remarkable positive change during the modern era when it opened up and became a huge trade and finance center. not so much on political. singapore already has slowed down. it has slowed down several percentage points. i think the support will also return to the days of higher growth. >> and as you become a progressive economy, it never slows down.
>> autocracy can grow faster because -- >> let's go for that one right there. >> i am interested in political reform in china. the western democracies system? >> nobody has to imitate exactly any other country. i think it is about ideas and principles, nobody has ever found a very good way for the consent of the governed that does not include a majority vote
collection. the principles are really about the power, the checks on the power of the government to do bad things to individuals. there are many ways to protect the individual against the power of the government. it does not have to be an exact imitation. >> the comments of the countries in africa, some are absolutely not democracies. do you see any difference in the ones that are particular -- >> i am biased because i am an economist and not a political scientist. i do not think political structures impede economic growth. i think they are basically touching on that point.
you don't necessarily have to have that place. there is enough evidence to show that if you have the right working economy, what you really want is driving economic growth first to you can create the middle class. a lot of people going around standing and voting. they are democratic principles. let me pick up on something that bill set earlier. it will be ito's of how this country operates. there is a schism between emerging markets.
if you go back to the declaration of human rights, it becomes very clear why we are having this discussion now. the definition of human rights was political freedom, the ability to hold government accountable. even then, there is a debate where you would have the ability to deliver education. i think this is where the issue lies. i strongly believe that we'll get the political reform. we have to evolve in a way that is organic.
it has to evolve organically for the local markets and the local environments to actually stick. i know everyone knows, but the united states largest economy, and democracy is that the political egos. you have china, the second- largest economy in the world. we are sitting here saying no democracy and state capitalism. these countries have the same income inequality right now. it is only marginally worse. we can talk about trajectory, but thinking about the emerging world, you have to make a decision about which model you pick. is it really the case that it
needs to be set before economic development can occur? >> i think we have time for one more question. yes, the lady there. five rows back. i have an uproar. the gentleman there. >> my original question was directed for professor easterly about the declaration of human rights providing a basis for generalizing the declaration of independence and it also does so-ude the country'ies with called positive rates. i would like to hear comments of both of you. >> i will get one or two other questions and have you both
answer them. lady here. four rows back. >> in regards to africa, i was in west africa a couple years ago. from the educated population, there is a strong sense thaof sp aid. my question is around innovation. there are people doing important things like clinton, goldman sachs, and without that external money, how does that economy actually grow and develop? >> you have the right people to ask. you take the un. >> the sad thing about the un declaration of human rights, the agencies themselves do not
respect the declaration. the world bank, the organization i know best being a prisoner there for 14 years, they never once used the word democracy. i had a blog tormenting him about this. he has never used the word democracy and he is not allowed to use that word. the world bank was not even endorsing the un declaration for human rights. they were giving aid to autocrats in ethiopia, using aid and to the document -- to end the document, star of his political opponents. -- starve his political
opponents. when the un is not recognizing that right -- >> we reduce poverty by relying on aid, giving the africans more aid, that is rubbish. all i heard is that they can't go to the market. they called it shearing off from the rest of the world. it wasn't based [indiscernible] $750 billion came through and it was more aggressively priced than italy, spain, and portugal. that is where you create economic prosperity.
the agencies are doing fantastic stuff but it will not create what we need on that continent. the marginal interventions are not going to create economic growth. we know how to create jobs, so instead of having large subsidy programs, start there. get rid of those programs and we can talk about economic growth. >> you can understand why they are the most prominent voices in the business. >> a look at social media and on line speech. this is half an hour. >> we are going to shift gears a bit. i took my tie off the war
earlier this morning. first, there is wifi here. you should log on to the nyu guest account. user name is guest131. password is right there for you. we will talk about the use of social media. it has been on everyone's lips the last couple of years. we have wonderful guests that are known for their engagement with their audience. i predict we are going to hear a little bit of criticism and push back on some of the wisdom of social media. first we will hear from the author of public parks. we also have the author of what
will google do. he is an associate professor for journalism. give us your prediction. thanks. >> predictions are necessarily bullshit. the social media is bullshit. i don't agree with everything in that book, but i agree with the entitlements of social media itself as a misnomer. looking at the world and our image, it is not media at all. it is speech. it is people talking. that is how we have to look at this. my prediction is very easy.
it is not likely will have a cool tool. we will use it for speech. the prediction is that we will continue to have threats. that is what we have to worry about because we already see this happening. we also see in the u.k. that there are people being arrested. .t may be nasty stuff turning around, after the levison inquiry, regulating media. where is speech? this is a dangerous stance we are about to go under here. there is a fight over the effort
to make google pay for the link.. if you can do that for media, maybe you can do it for bloggers like me. there is danger there. in dubai, they refused to have a favor of having the right on line. instead, they ordered the introduction of a firmly worded press release. speech is in danger this year. facebook is a place where we can share and can act. it is going wrong -- a round. i urge you to recognize that we must not only get enamored with new tools and toys. we have an obligation to protect
the freedom. share and can act. we must protect the net. [applause] >> the phrase rock star is thrown around a lot. i am happy to welcome a bonafide rock star, amanda plummer is best known as one half of the dresden dolls. she started releasing solo albums produced by ben folds two is wonderful himself. she is best known as a social media queen rock-and-roll. she is engaged with her fans through social media and is known for finding her next album via kickstarter, a pay-
what-you-like for my music model. welcome amanda. [applause] >> highlight to begin by agreeing that predictions are bullshit and social media is also bullshit. that being said, it helps me a lot. not so much the prediction that i would make, but everything that has happened to me in the last few months, the kickstarter i did that raised over $1 million, it brought a discussion of about my use of twitter and connecting i have done with my audience and my fans.
the conversation that i hear happening every year between artists and musicians is that people are beginning to measure the cost of connections. and by that, i mean you have people engaging on your behalf as the artist and engaging constantly with fans. the pros and cons are starting to shake out. the past few months, these sorts of people coming to me are my uncle that is a very successful person that runs an office furniture company. the costume shop by lived and in
australia, they are in their 70's and they say a man that, should we do -- amanda, should we do twitter? they feel terrified that they are not engaging in social media. the big question is, what is the necessity of constant connection? are we measuring it correctly? i would argue that in a lot of cases, we are not. we are now being defined by how we are conversing and the tools that we are using. what we have to say will continue to be interesting. the fact that we are being engaged by the volume of how much we are connecting, this is what i hear everybody talking
about. that also means the human and emotional cost of what it means. i heard on npr the other day that the vast majority of social media is taking place in the bathroom. when people leave the restaurant, i think we can agree that there is a terror that our have been best horror lives are being compromised. this is the confirmation -- the conversation that i see exploding. the prediction i would make is the etiquette and value of social media is going to be caused in the question. -- into question. [applause] >> in the spirit of the conversation, askei asked twittr
what i should ask. geoff, can you lend me a few thousand followers? one of the questions was to the point that she just made, is there a danger that you're being known for social media as opposed to being known for your music? >> no, i don't feel that way at all. i agree so much with what jeff said, it isn't media. it is a conversational tool. i remember being amazed and really feeling like things were changing when the first person came up to me and said, i am embarrassed to tell you this, i don't like your music, but i love your blog.
i said, that is really flattering. any kind of connecting really is the means of the artist. i feel like a fundamental content provider. there are ways of bringing people -- just the same way that people don't care how they got in the door. there might be people out there that would never have heard about me. >> we like to write about journalists because we are talking aboobsessed with oursel. do you ever want to throw the stuff away and go right about city hall or something?
writing about the ways that we communicate. is there some danger that is overwhelming? >> she is not at risk for being known for twitter than art. there is a larger danger that we are reading too much into technology. we tend to think that we make newspapers. we don't, we explain the world. we concentrate on the tool to much. we need to see that we have our relationship with the public and that journalism is not a product. we see ourselves as servants. we fill columns with type. from a regulatory perspective, this new thing we had better
regulate because it is disrupting. the first serious discussion did not come to the u.s. until 1890. it freaked us out because we had a new technology that change behaviors. we talk about etiquette. we try to deal with trolls, bozos and assholes online. no, it depends on how you use it. i don't want to get rid of it all. it gave me a second childhood. it changed my career and the view of the media and everything else. i recognize that there are choices to make. >> speaking of trolls, bozos and